In just a few weeks more than 1,250 young Jewish athletes from around the world will arrive in Rockland County for the . The Rockland County Sheriff’s Department is coordinating security for the weeklong program, which includes events taking place at numerous venues within the county and other locations.
“We have taken, and continue to take, the safety and security of all of our participants, spectators, and community members extremely seriously, and to make it a top priority in our event planning,” said Eric Lightman, JCC Maccabi Games director.
On Wednesday, a suicide bomber killed seven Israeli tourists on a bus outside a Bulgarian airport. The bomber also died. Thirty-two people were hospitalized with injuries.
The Maccabi Games are yearly Olympic-style athletic events with social and cultural opportunities. The teen athletes are coming from many states, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Venezuela and the United Kingdom and will compete in 12 sports. This year, the Rockland JCC is one of the three host sites; the other host locations are Memphis and Houston.
Lightman shared the following statement regarding security measures for the event, which begins Sunday, August 12.
The security for the upcoming JCC Maccabi Games® - Rockland 2012 is being entirely handled by law enforcement. The Rockland Jewish Community Campus (JCC) has been working very closely with Rockland County Sheriff Louis Falco III and his staff for many months in preparing security for the games. Sheriff Falco has taken the lead on all-hazards planning and is working with local, state and federal law enforcement to develop a comprehensive Incident Action Plan (IAP), which encompasses security, fire, EMS, emergency management and other disciplines to ensure that the games are safe and secure.
In addition to the Rockland Sheriff’s Office, the primary law enforcement agencies involved in providing protection for the games include the Clarkstown and Ramapo police departments, New York State Police, SUNY Rockland Community College Office of Public Safety, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Westchester County Police Department, Town of Newburgh Police Department and Village of Pleasantville Police Department.
Every effort is being made to ensure that the games are safe and secure including the training of volunteer Event Marshalls as the eyes and ears of law enforcement. They will be prepared to provide assistance and direction in the event an emergency occurs.
Rockland Community College will serve as the hub for many of the events including the opening and closing ceremonies.