County police and sheriff’s officers have begun 24-hour joint patrols of religious sites across Bergen County in the wake of a string of bias attacks targeting the Jewish community, authorities said Friday.
Marked units from the two departments are working in cooperation with local police to check ethnic community centers and religious sites from a range of faiths, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said in a statement.
“All community and religious centers will benefit from the strategy, including synagogues, mosques, churches and other houses of worship,” Molinelli said.
Law enforcement officials and Jewish community leaders . The attacks began in December when with anti-Semitic graffiti, including swastikas. The crimes escalated this month when , and Congregation Beth El in Rutherford was firebombed, injuring Rabbi Nosson Schuman.
Molinelli said the attack Wednesday in Rutherford was being treated as an attempted murder. The Anti-Defamation League to $7,500 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the hate crime spree.
The patrols would continue until authorities “are satisfied that the Rutherford incident was isolated and will not repeat," Molinelli said in an email. Overtime costs from the joint effort will be covered by the prosecutor’s office.
Anyone with information can call the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office at 201-226-5651.
Myles Ma and Zak Koeske contributed to this report