The Council on American-Islamic Relations, (CAIR) -Chicago, is offering training in an active-shooter situation in the wake of the March 15, massacre by a White supremacist, in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed 50 people inside two mosques, including women and children. It also gave other recommendations to mosques that could ensure higher safety and security for congregants.
“CAIR-Chicago is organizing active shooting trainings run by specialists. We strongly urge all masajid and community centers who have not already done so, to sign up,” the organization said in a mailing.
Building relationships with the local community of the mosque (ie, local government officials, law enforcement, religious and community groups, neighbors, etc.); Inviting them to visit, attend events, and be active partners; Maintaining regular contact, addressing congregational concerns, and engaging in the broader community, are among the recommendations laid out by CAIR-Chicago.
Reaching out to the local police department to visit the center, assess current security protocols, and making suggestions on improving mosque security; Requesting additional police patrols in the vicinity of the center, with special focus during times of prayer, community activities and programs, and night time, were other steps.
CAIR also suggested hiring private security apart from posting mosque members at entrances and parking areas during prayer times, and keeping an eye out for suspicious activity and persons, and reporting them to authorities. Reporting suspicious packages to police, making sure not to touch them, was another warning.
It also calls for putting bright floodlights outside the mosque; alarm systems and security cameras; having secure, solid doors at all entrances; and making sure compliant burglar-proof bars are on windows, screens, and large vents.
Having safety protocols (fire, bomb threat, active shooter, etc.) in place, training mosque leadership and educating congregants, were among the other recommendations.