Last month, the Jewish community safety organization MAGEN Chicago came together to show unwavering support and appreciation for the 024th Police Department at the annual National Night Out event. Held at Warren Park, this remarkable display of solidarity allowed Jewish community members to express their gratitude for the tireless efforts of local law enforcement in keeping their neighborhoods safe.
Engaging in various activities and heartfelt conversations, MAGEN Chicago members highlighted their steadfast commitment to fostering positive relationships with the police. They emphasized the importance of open and honest communication, mutual understanding and trust between the Jewish community and law enforcement.
“Events like this allow us to show our support and thanks to the brave men and women in blue who put their lives on the line each day to protect us,” said Chiam Naiditch, President of MAGEN Chicago. “We will continue working hand-in-hand with the 024th District to build trust, understanding, and collaboration to keep our community safe and secure.”
The event also strengthened the robust relationship between MAGEN Chicago and the 024th District Police Department’s Place Of Worship Safety Advisory Team (POWSAT). Officers Michael Specht and Roger Heath of the POWSAT team have been instrumental in conducting Shul security assessments, providing Active Threat Program training, establishing communication networks and delivering rapid support to synagogues and Jewish organizations across Chicago.
“Officers Specht and Heath have become indispensable partners to us in improving safety and security for Chicago’s Jewish population,” Naiditch continued. “They are always available to address our concerns, provide guidance and training, or respond to emergencies. Their tireless efforts have made the Jewish community in Chicago feel safer and more secure.”
Beyond just showing appreciation, National Night Out provided an opportunity for meaningful dialogue between MAGEN members and police officers about how both groups can work together to prevent crime and build a greater sense of community.
“Community events such as National Night Out are key components for strengthening the bond between police and the citizens we serve,” said Officer Michael Specht. “The backbone of policing is patrol, and with the continued support and collaboration of the community, along with neighborhood safety groups such as MAGEN Chicago, I feel we all are making tremendous strides and working towards one common goal of keeping our neighborhoods safer for all citizens.”
“The Jewish community has embraced Mike and myself as their partners,” said Officer Roger Heath. “Seeing the efforts and support from MAGEN gives us inspiration and focus to continue our efforts to protect the community as a whole.”
With antisemitic incidents on the rise nationwide, partnerships like this one between MAGEN Chicago and the Chicago Police Department become even more critical. This continued collaboration signifies a profound commitment to working hand-in-hand to foster trust and understanding.
“By coming together, collaborating, and standing united, we can build a brighter, safer future for Chicago’s Jewish community and all citizens of our neighborhood,” Naiditch said.
Events like National Night Out show the power of communities banding together and illustrate what can be achieved when citizens and law enforcement build mutual understanding and trust. MAGEN Chicago’s notable display of support highlights their appreciation for the police and emphasizes the strong bonds built between these invaluable partners.
MAGEN Chicago, founded in 2016, is a grassroots non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to protecting the Jewish community. MAGEN empowers individuals to take charge of their safety through education, safety training, and relationship building. MAGEN Chicago aims to continue their mission to “Protect the Community from Within.” Community involvement is vital to enabling this organization to carry out its efforts.