Responding to the recent worrying increase in anti-Semitic incidents in New York and New Jersey, NJ Governor Phil Murphy said that he was directing the New Jersey State Police to increase their presence in and around Jewish synagogues and community centers, in order to provide an extra layer of protection for Jews concerned by violence being directed at them.
What I have been wondering since Murphy’s announcement, which took place after the Monsey stabbing attack, is where those additional resources are. Lakewood has, by far, the largest Jewish population in all of New Jersey, and one of the largest in the United States. If resources were being directed to protect a specific population, would they not be sent to where that population resides? And yet I have not seen a single New Jersey State Police officer patrolling or sitting in front of a shul in Lakewood. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only NJSP troopers who have been in town were those handing out tickets for traffic violations.
This begs the simplest of questions: why? Why hasn’t Governor Murphy directed the NJSP to provide extra security for Lakewood, the township with the largest Jewish population in the state? Is there something that we’re missing? Has the governor really sent additional resources to Lakewood, but they are all undercover? That’s doubtful, but a legitimate possibility. I simply don’t know, and nor does anyone else I have spoken to. We simply don’t have a clue, and that isn’t a good thing.
The Jewish community has come under attack numerous times over the past few months, and it is only fair for us to ask for a little bit of transparency. I’m not trying to kick up dirt over this, but I do want to know that state resources are actually around to protect us.
Where are they and why aren’t they here?