Page County Sheriff Steps Up School Patrols, in Response to Hamas' Call for a 'Global Day of Jihad'
Written by: Michael Phillips
LURAY, VA – Schools and businesses in Page County, Virginia, will notice an increased police presence today, following a string of hoax threats that have put communities on edge across the Commonwealth and the nation. Sheriff Chad Cubbage announced the move in a press release today, emphasizing the absence of specific threats in the county, but framing the measure as one of precaution.
The action mirrors those taken by other law enforcement agencies nationwide in light of recent events, including a call for a “Global Day of Jihad” by a former Hamas leader.
New York City, already on heightened alert, has similarly ramped up its police visibility. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) initiated the bolstered security measures following Khaled Meshaal, the former leader of Hamas, urging for a “general mobilization,” interpreted by some as a potential call for violence. The United States government has warned Americans traveling abroad to exercise caution. Meshaal's statements, which encourage a demonstration of solidarity with Palestine, have added tension to an already volatile situation marked by both pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian demonstrations.
Despite the alarms, both New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the NYPD have reassured the public that there are no specific or credible threats against the city. Deputy Police Commissioner Rebecca Weiner added, “We want everyone to remain calm. We have this under control.”
Still, such assurances have not quelled fears entirely, especially as hate crimes appear to be on the rise. The NYPD is investigating a series of attacks in the Brooklyn and Queens boroughs, believed to be motivated by hate, with both Jews and Palestinians in the U.S. being targeted.
Federal agencies have also weighed in. The FBI has encouraged a heightened sense of vigilance across the country as many law enforcement agencies take their cues from the NYPD, adopting a more visible presence in communities.
Sheriff Cubbage, echoing the sentiments of many, called on residents to “pray for our world, pray for our country, and pray for our community.”
While the immediate concerns lie with ensuring safety and preventing potential acts of violence, a longer-term question remains about the toll such threats, even when found to be hoaxes, take on communities. For the people of rural Page County, Virginia, they can rest a bit easier knowing that their Sheriff's Office is stepping up patrols and taking these threats seriously, right here at home.