MONSEY – Following the horrific machete attack at Rabbi Rottenburg’s shul on Dec. 28 weekend Anthony Mele of AMI Global Security provided weapons and training to several members of another local shul.
Mele, aware of open carry laws in New York, instructed the Orthodox men, several of whom were infantry members in the Israel Defense Force, to keep the weapons unloaded when outside. Mele said the image of the men with weapons should send the message that members of the community are not helpless.
As a security expert, Mele said he was also concerned about the potential for a second hit. His job is to be a good shepard to his clients, so that no further tragedy would befall “his sheep.”
“Not these sheep,” he said. “I was there to provide guidance and vision.”
Mele had responded to a request for assistance from persons friendly with him, who were concerned for their safety. The picture of the Orthodox men went viral across the world and also caused some backlash.
Even the police pushed back at Mele, but the former political candidate and Chestnut Ridge resident said he had “the right facts” to deflect their pressure.
“Why can’t the Second Amendment apply to everyone,” said Mele, bristling at the criticism.
Also in response to the situation, Mele has co-founded with his Monsey neighbors the Jewish Community Self Defense Group Initiative. “The community should be trained and capable of defending themselves,” Mele said.
Other security measures were also taken, with the county executive recruiting another security firm to run patrols in Jewish communities for a period of time and another group hosting a weapons fair.