WXXI AM News

Bomb threat sent to multiple JCCs around the state; Rochester not among them

Feb 23, 2020

Gov. Cuomo talking with reporters Sunday in Albany.
Credit Office of NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo is responding after a report of a threatening email sent to a Jewish Community Center in Albany and to JCCs in other parts of the state on Sunday.

Cuomo said that a bomb threat was sent by email to a JCC in Albany; the building was swept by police, but nothing was found. Cuomo says there were about 18 other JCC’s around the country in New York state that got a similar email. But the JCC in Rochester was not among those getting the threat.

That’s according to Mark Henderson, who is Director of Community Security for the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester.

But Henderson said if they do get a threat like that locally, there are procedures in place to deal with it.

“I can tell you that from my previous role, my position as the Brighton Police Chief, we handled two bomb threats. I’m fully confident in the policies and procedures in place and I’m fully confident if something were to happen locally, we’d be able to respond to it,” Henderson said.

Cuomo talked to reporters in Albany about the impact these kinds of threats have. “It's not just an anti-Semitic attack. You have children who go to the JCC. You have gym facilities here. So, you are really threatening children. It is one of the most heinous things you can do,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said that there have been about 42 incidents of anti-Semitism in the state over the last couple of months, and he says officials take every threat seriously.

He also told reporters that, “There is a contagion of hate all across this country. The number of anti- African American attacks is up, the number of KKK groups and activity is up. The number of incidents against the LGBTQ community are up, so it's a virus all across this nation.”