SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – New security measures are in place after recent threats to Springfield’s Jewish Community Center.
The area’s Jewish community is still shocked by Friday’s bomb threat that forced the JCC to close for the day.
“I wish you could unlearn prejudice,” said one member from Longmeadow to whoever scrawled the bomb threat in marker on a wall in the men’s locker room.
The door facing Dickinson Street at the Jewish Community Center is locked, forcing visitors to enter through the back and pass directly by the check in desk.
On Wednesday, a Springfield Police car was parked out front as an officer walked inside.
“I just think it’s sad that society has to do stuff like that. I come here to work out and have a good time and it’s sad that people want to put people down,” said Carl Delp of Springfield.
Springfield Police Lt. Robert Tardiff told 22News they have identified more than one suspect on surveillance video and arrests are possible within the week. They are working with the FBI.
One man who declined to give 22News his name told us he is a retired police officer and told 22News what he would say to the perpetrators.
“It’s a good thing I’m retired. They should burn in hell,” the man said.
Beyond locking the doors, the JCC wouldn’t reveal the details of their security procedures to 22News. But they do send text message emergency alerts. People told 22News it affects more than just the JCC.
“It’s affected our family personally because I have a grandson who is in the day school,” said David Porter of Longmeadow. “They have had emergency drills. At 4 years old he is probably not realizing what has happened, but it’s the parents of the other children in his class who have been greatly affected because obviously they worry about what could happen.”
It’s not the first time the JCC has been the target of hate. In January there was a threatening note found in the building’s wellness wing.
The Jewish Community Center will hold an interfaith vigil this Thursday at 6PM for anyone who wants to say no to hate.