Tulsa Jewish Community Center Prepares For Passover In Wake Of Kansas Shooting

Monday, April 14th 2014, 5:51 pm
By: News On 6

An Oklahoma doctor and his 14-year-old grandson were two of the three people killed in a shooting outside a Jewish community center in Kansas City. The shooting has the Jewish community re-evaluating security at synagogues and community centers across the nation.

In South Tulsa, The Charles Schusterman Jewish Community Center Campus is similar to the one in Overland Park. And on any given day there are nearly 2,000 people that come in and out of the Community Center.

Monday is the first day of Passover, and that means temples will be busy with people attending traditional Seders and dinners. The director of the Community Center said they are reviewing procedures but not canceling scheduled events.

When you walk into any temple or Jewish Community Center this week you will hear Happy Passover, but the shooting on the eve of the anniversary of the Jewish holiday, sours the celebration.

Tulsa's former police chief Drew Diamond, who serves as the executive director of the Jewish Federation, is carefully watching as the investigation heats up in Kansas.

"The good news in this tragedy, if there is any, is the perpetrator is in custody. It doesn't appear to be organized," Diamond said.

Frazier Miller, the 73 year old arrested for the Kansas shooting, is a known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan member who has targeted minorities before.

While the attack has the Jewish community re-evaluating security, people at The Charles Schusterman Jewish Community Center Campus are conducting business as normal.

"Nothing has changed today since yesterday, or the day before, in terms of what we do. Again, vigilance is important to all the entities on our campus," said Diamond.

Diamond said the key to proper security is layering, or combining security controls. Restricting access is one way, and everyone should keep a watchful eye.

"I am really not going to discuss that, but they are all in place," he said.

From visible cameras, to sign-in sheets, to secret measures, Diamond said the south Tulsa center is security minded, and Sunday's shooting is a reminder for everyone to be vigilant.

"We started reviewing again this morning and will with the staff, to make sure all those things that we do are working as best we can for us," Diamond said.

Diamond also pointed out every staff member participates in drills, just as they practice what to during severe weather. They also run drills on how to handle an armed gunman.

And although it's is a public campus, no one is allowed to open carry.