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Ali RosenAug 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Bomb threats against Westchester County Jewish community centers leads to new law

Governor Cuomo signs new law that strengthens the penalties for those who make threats

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TARRYTOWN — A string of bomb threats against Jewish community centers, including two in Westchester County, has led to new law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The law will charge those who falsely report a bomb threat to a community center as a public order offense. A public order offense, at a minimum, is a misdemeanor but could rise to be a felony.

In February, two Jewish community centers in Westchester County were threatened, causing hundreds to evacuate, police to sweep the neighborhoods, and residents to feel fear.

“I think people don't realize the amount of anxiety and fear that such a thing creates,” says Shames Jewish Community Center Executive Director Rabbi Andrew Ergas.

“We are very excited that the governor has taken a public stance and is letting people know that it’s not just the actual terror it’s the threat of terror that terrorizes others and prevents people from feeling safe and secure,” Rabbi Ergas added.

The new law which responds to bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers will go into effect on Nov. 12.

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