Arlington police have increased patrols around houses of worship following the recent terrorist attack on mosques in New Zealand.
ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the department has stepped up patrols and “conducted public outreach to our faith-based communities” in the county.
“Since the attack in New Zealand, we have been in contact with the leaders of Muslim faith-based communities in Arlington County to address any concerns they may have and ensure open lines of communication,” Savage said, adding that “officers are conducting increased patrols for all faith-based communities.”
Police are also offering “safety presentations” for community groups on active shooter situations, reporting suspicious activity, and the “risks, hazards, and vulnerabilities” in houses of worship.” Groups interested can schedule a training by emailing [email protected] or [email protected].
Muslim houses of worship in Arlington include the Baitul Mukarram Masjid mosque on S. Nelson Street in Nauck. There are also Muslim prayer services held at some local churches and hotels, according to listings found online.
The beefed up security comes after at 50 people were killed in shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand Friday. The 28-year-old suspect in custody is an Australian man who reportedly posted an 87-page white supremacist memo prior to the killings.
Savage stressed that while “there are no known threats in Arlington County” people are encouraged to report suspicious activity to department by calling the non-emergency line — 703-558-2222 — or 9-1-1 in an emergency
Police in D.C. and Fairfax and Montgomery counties have also increased patrols around mosques in their communities, WTOP reported.