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Local Synagogues Increase Security In Wake Of Pittsburgh Massacre

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The massacre at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue is forcing local houses of worship to reevaluate their security plans, and local law enforcement is joining the effort.

When the accused anti-semite opened fire during a Saturday service at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, law enforcement in Sacramento immediately deployed extra officers at all synagogues in town.

After the incident, Rabbi Mendi Cohen realized he'll need a more permanent security plan in place for his congregation.

"We are thinking of how to beef up security and make people feel safe," Cohen said.

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The Chabad of Sacramento rabbi recently used federal grant money to install an iron gate around the synagogue.

In the Sacramento area, eight faith-based organizations, including Chabad, received about $775,000 last year. The funding is strictly for security upgrades from the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

Cohen said he is now considering raising money for new bulletproof windows.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department emphasized there are no credible threats against houses of worship in this community, but officers are working with religious leaders to help fine-tune security details.

READ: Pain Of 1999 Sacramento Synagogue Firebombings Also A Lesson In Resilience

The spokesman for the sheriff's department, Shaun Hampton, said the department's regional terrorism task force is visiting with area houses of worship to reevaluate security protocols and provide training tools.

"We want them to know to react. Run, hide or fight," Hampton said.

In Pittsburgh, Tree of Life Rabbi Jonathan Perlman hid in a closet and held the door closed while the gunman executed his elderly congregants. Rabbi Cohen now wants to build a back room of his own, but his room would be more like Israel's bomb shelters, a place that can fit many people and has strong bolts to keep out attackers.

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