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Security Expert Shares 'Run, Hide, Fight' Guidance In Wake Of Colleyville Synagogue Hostage Situation

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - As the Congregation Beth Israel hostage situation unfolded Saturday, the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas quickly worked with law enforcement and its other partners to make sure Dallas-area synagogues were implementing their safety and security protocols.

Monday night, the organization's head of security shared what to do if you one day find yourself in a similar situation.

In an interview with CBS Mornings, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker said in the last hour of Saturday's standoff, it didn't look good.

"It didn't sound good… we were terrified," he said.

Going off the instruction he had received from the Colleyville Police Department, FBI, Anti-Defamation League & Secure Communities Network, he decided to act.

First making sure the other hostages were ready, then acting.

"I threw a chair at the gunman and I had it for the door and all three of us were able to get out, he said.

"In a situation where it comes down to its your life or the bad guy's, you have to do something," Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas Director of Community Security Bill Humphrey said.

The former Dallas police chief who now heads security said Rabbi Cytron-Walker's actions reflect what's taught in "run, hide, fight" training.

He said in life-threatening situations, if you can run, do it. If you can't run, try to hide. And if you can't hide, fight for your life.

"The run, hide, fight model is very appropriate in all situations whether it is a business, school or place of worship," he said.

Humphrey said on Saturday, Jewish communities went on high alert.

They had been planning for these situations after an obvious increase in anti-Semitic activity in recent years.

"In the year 2020 there were over 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents specific to the Jewish communities and certainly all the security directors & our national partners have made a very, very strong push for this training," Humphrey said.

He said with incidents like this happening, it's important to have a safety and security plan in place and practice it regularly.

He also recommends having a security assessment done once every two years.


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