911 was my wake-up call: it could happen here. War could come to our shores. I became involved in community safety and security.
Fortunately, my town has always promoted citizen participation. They had a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT,) and I underwent training to support the Office of Emergency Management.
The Police Department ran a Citizens Police Academy. I graduated that, and went on to start a Neighborhood Watch with other graduates.
I worked closely with both the OEM and PD on helping local houses of worship with emergency preparedness.
When the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre took place, I started a private Facebook group to discuss community safety and security. I had two goals:
- To keep people mindful of all threats, not just mass shooters. As congregations hardened their physical defenses, I wanted to make sure every-day issues like environmental health and street violence were not forgotten;
- To identify all the factors that could make communities unsafe. Shootings, and other violent crimes, do not take place in a vacuum; there is a cultural / legal / political environment that can either encourage or discourage health and safety.
The year 2020 showed how true this all was. Government officials locking down entire states to “defeat Covid” – and in the process causing more illness and suffering than the virus?! Government officials allowing domestic terrorists to attack people and property with “peaceful protests”?! Government officials conspiring in a “color revolution” (their words) to unseat an elected President, and demonize his supporters?!
It became clear to me that the NUMBER ONE threat to community safety and security, is a government that will turn against its own citizens.