MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Members of law enforcement and various faith-based communities in Minnesota were meeting Wednesday to talk about safety concerns and what they can do to assess and mitigate threats.

About 200 people were registered to attend Wednesday’s symposium, hosted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. The half-day meeting was designed to be the start of what organizers hope will be an ongoing conversation to keep communities safe.

Many communities of faith are concerned after recent attacks on places of worship nationwide. In October 2018, 11 people were killed at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. More recently, five people were stabbed and wounded when a man with a machete entered a rabbi’s home during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, New York.

Closer to home, the Dar al-Farooq mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, was attacked with a pipe bomb in August 2017. No one was injured.

The goal of Wednesday’s meeting will be to talk about ways law enforcement and faith communities can work together, to provide information about threats and to create opportunities for networking.

Issues such as how to handle a disruptive person during a service and the benefits and drawbacks of hiring an off-duty security officer were also among topics being discussed.

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