Fresno police step up security around mosques in wake of New Zealand mass shooting

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno Police have stepped up security around local mosques after the mass shooting in New Zealand that killed 49 people.

The terrorist attack has sparked outrage and fueled concern for many in the Valley's Muslim community.

Local leaders came together on Friday at Saint James Episcopal Cathedral for a prayer vigil to honor the victims and to support the Muslim community.

"Getting together as many different faith communities under one roof and being together in prayer and community and fellowship - I think that's one way that we can fight against this hatred," said Dean Ryan Newman.

Fresno P.D. has increased officer patrols in the areas surrounding local mosques and other worship centers.

"We've had communications with folks at the mosque but our job today was to increase the presence of uniformed officers in and around the mosque, which we did. And not just the mosque but also some of the Sikh Temples as well, because sometimes there is some confusion as to what's the difference between a temple and a mosque," said Fresno Police chief Jerry Dyer.

Leaders of the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno on Nees near Maple say they have been providing extra security even before Friday's shooting.

"It's standard but is disgusting. You should never have to feel unsafe. A place of worship is a place of sanctuary, a place of safety that anybody should be able to walk in and seek safety," said Reza Nekumanesh of the Islamic Cultural Center.

Local church leaders said regular prayer groups and other activities went on as scheduled on Friday. They said this is the best way to stand up to terrorism.
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