WHITEFISH BAY -- Gov. Scott Walker says he plans to provide additional law enforcement intelligence and staffing to the Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay that has been the target of three threats in six weeks so it "continues to be a safe place."
Walker made the comments Wednesday, March 8th after touring the Harry and Rose Samson Jewish Community Center. Walker says his office will release more details about his plans for help in the coming days.
"It’s a form of domestic terrorism when people are trying to make threats, whether they follow through with them or not," Walker told reporters. "Calculated, systematic threats are a threat to not one, they’re a threat to all of us."
The Jewish Community Center in Whitefish Bay has received three threats since January 31st, including one on Tuesday, March 7th. Whitefish Bay Police have said the hoaxes have been a drain on their resources.
Federal officials have been investigating more than 120 threats against Jewish organizations in three dozen states since January 9th and a rash of vandalism at Jewish cemeteries. A Missouri resident was arrested on a cyberstalking charge and accused of making at least eight of the threats nationwide. He's not charged for the threats made to the center in Whitefish Bay.
Walker joined all 100 U.S. senators in calling on President Donald Trump's administration to more aggressively investigate the threats in Whitefish Bay and at other Jewish community centers.
"This isn’t unique to Milwaukee or Wisconsin. This is an issue with JCCs all across the nation, and I think we need to be as aggressive as possible as a nation," Walker said.
Walker's tour included a stop in which he played games with preschool-aged children. He also met privately with the community center's staff.
Walker said the state would coordinate intelligence resources to help the Milwaukee Jewish Community Center better assess threats. The state may make provide financial assistance to the center for additional staffing, he said.
Mark Shapiro, chief executive of the center, called the threats a "national epidemic of disruption" and thanked Walker for his assistance.
"The values that connect all of us are so much greater than the small moments that people seek to try and use to divide us," Shapiro said.