Lower Makefield Chief of Police, Ken Coluzzi is warning the townships residents about a deliberate spreading of COVID-19 by racially motivated extremist factions to faith based and minorities groups in statement he released Wednesday.
Coluzzi said, he would like to advise the faith-based community of information that we have recently received regarding online discussions among racially motivated extremist groups. There is information involving the deliberate spreading of novel coronavirus, COVID-19 to faith-based and minority groups.
Police are not aware of any specific or credible threats to any ethnic or faith-based community in Lower Makefield the Chief said but online discussions among the extremist are targeting Jewish and Asian-American communities, mosques and synagogues, he said.
“The discussions speak of spreading COVID-19 by leaving saliva on door handles, elevator buttons, and spraying saliva from water bottles” said Coluzzi.
“With the upcoming Jewish Passover holiday beginning April 8th, a special concern exists. There could be an opportunity for extremist groups to tamper with food or dishware before a meal is served. All should be vigilant and aware to potentially identify any food or items that may display signs of tampering” said Coluzzi.
Lower Makefield authorities feel this information is extremely important to share to heighten awareness in these uncertain times, he said.
“Should our department learn of a specific or credible threat, we will notify the organization within the community immediately”
If any group learns of a potential threat or observes suspicious behavior and incidents to call police immediately, Coluzzi asks.
Township patrols have been instructed to give additional attention to places of worship and public meeting spaces., he said.
If the public sees anything suspicious they can also submit an anonymous tip to Lower Makefield authorities by clicking here.
According to the FBI, hate crimes in 2018 rose by about by 12 percent hitting a 16 -year high nationally.
A hate crime is defined by the FBI as a “criminal offense against a person or property, motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity”