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Press Release

Washington’s two U.S. Attorneys join federal law enforcement partners to brief religious leaders on security for houses of worship

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
First of five trainings on concerns such as facility safety and active shooter guidance

Seattle – U.S. Attorney Nick Brown of the Western District of Washington and U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref of the Eastern District of Washington joined federal law enforcement leaders Monday evening March 7, 2022, for the first of five online trainings on security issues for houses of worship.

“People gather in their houses of worship for prayer, fellowship, and community. Investigating and prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority for the Department of Justice, and we must ensure that people are safe,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.  “I want to be sure our religious communities have the latest information on ways to secure their facilities, and deal with threats that may come their way.  As we saw recently at a synagogue in Houston, training made a difference in the safe escape of those taken hostage.”

“A top priority for FBI Seattle is protecting against threats to Washington state’s faith communities,” said Donald M. Voiret, Special Agent in Charge of the Seattle Field Office. “That’s why we held this event and others like it. We want our houses of worship to be equipped and our lines of communication open before a disaster strikes, and hopefully, with preparation, we can keep that from happening.”

The virtual meeting was facilitated by the Jewish Community Center.    More than 70 people attended the opening training.

The meeting provided an overview of some of the future trainings and provided an opportunity for questions to a panel of experts.  The future trainings will cover: Active Shooter guidance, ensuring facility safety, counterterrorism, and hate crimes prosecutions.

Participating federal agencies include the FBI, Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF).


Reporters interested in learning more about this training please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or, or the FBI public affairs office at

Updated March 9, 2022

Civil Rights
Community Outreach