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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

Friday, February 5, 2016

Law Enforcement to Host Faith-Based Security Summit

DALLAS — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, the FBI’s Dallas Division and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Dallas are hosting a Faith-Based Security Summit that will provide faith-based leaders with information to improve security and develop protocols to protect houses of worship.

The Summit will be held the afternoon of Tuesday, February 9, 2016, at the FBI’s Dallas Field Office.  Approximately 150 individuals representing faith-based leadership in North Texas are expected to attend. 

“Our places of worship are uniquely vulnerable as they struggle to balance sanctity and security,” said U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.  “The free exercise of religion guaranteed by our Constitution is an empty promise without a safe and peaceful environment in which to worship.  Although violence in places of worship is sadly not a new problem, recent tragic events across the country have highlighted the challenges of fostering a culture that is both welcoming and safe.  This summit will address some of those challenges.”

Thomas M. Class, Sr., Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas FBI said, “We in the FBI, along with our partners in law enforcement, are committed to protecting the safety and First Amendment rights of all faith-based groups. Through this summit, it is our hope to further strengthen our relationship with the communities we serve and to share valuable information that could be instrumental in saving lives.”

Katrina W. Berger, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Dallas, said, “To fulfill law enforcement’s primary role of public safety, we must stay relevant to the times.  Unfortunately, in our society today, this means providing our faith-based leaders with basic training tools to escape and survive an active-shooter situation.  Our places of worship and their congregations are especially vulnerable to be targeted by these horrific acts.”

The Summit will provide faith-based leaders information and tools to assist them in developing security programs, protocols and emergency action plans.  It will also provide information on risk assessment, crisis response plans, deterring threats, information sharing and active shooter situations. 

In addition to U.S. Attorney Parker and Special Agents in Charge Class and Berger, speakers will include subject matter experts from the FBI and HSI.  In addition, several members of the Dallas-Fort Worth faith-based community will participate in a round-table panel discussion.

Registration for this Summit is closed.  It is also closed to the media.

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Hate Crimes
Updated February 5, 2016