FBI Portland
Beth Anne Steele
(503) 460-8099
January 21, 2022

Statement from Special Agent in Charge Kieran L. Ramsey to Oregon Community

Friends,

The recent attack at a synagogue in Texas underscores the enduring nature of violent threats posed to faith based communities across the country. To be targeted at your place of worship, a space meant to be a sanctuary, is one of the most heinous acts of violence that can be committed. Our faith-based communities represent some of our most critical partners in our shared community. The FBI is committed to building and maintaining a relationship of trust and ensuring an open and honest dialogue at all times so people know they can talk to us before, during, and after a crisis. Our intent, of course, is to ensure any violence is prevented. Nevertheless, it’s imperative that we establish and build on these relationships before a crisis strikes.

In this regard, we are asking you to help us raise awareness of potential threats to religiously-affiliated facilities and groups regardless of type, sect, or denomination. As always, we ask that you reach out to law enforcement or my office if you see something suspicious or threatening. Cooperation and information-sharing between law enforcement and the community is particularly important to identifying areas of concern and helping us connect the dots to prevent a future incident. We encourage you to continue educating your fellow community members about suspicious activity and be ready and willing to report it. We are committed to working with you, leaning on your unique perspectives as members of the community to mitigate these threats locally.

Unfortunately, because we have seen attacks occur far too often at houses of worship and elsewhere, the FBI has also released multiple videos demonstrating the three simplest tactics you can use to keep yourself and others safe during an active shooter attack: run, hide, and fight. We encourage you to use these films in your work within the community (but please note some of the content is disturbing and therefore should not be screened for young audiences):

  • Run. Hide. Fight.
    In this FBI training video, customers at a bar are caught in an active shooter event. By employing the run, hide, and fight tactics, as well as knowing the basics of rendering first aid to others, they are prepared, empowered, and able to survive the attack.
  • Prepare to Survive
    This FBI training video describes how to employ the run, hide, and fight tactics to survive an active shooter incident. Although set in a house of worship, these principles can be applied anywhere.

In addition, the FBI has previously published a resource for developing emergency plans for houses of worship.

Other federal government agencies also continue to share valuable information that any faith-based community can draw from, including the Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s security guidance for faith based organizations and houses of worship.

If you have any questions about these resources or the expertise and specialized training offered by our FBI Field Office, please don't hesitate to ask. Additional information is also available at fbi.gov/survive. We remain available to speak directly with groups or organizations that wish to engage further on any of the above. Lastly, we recognize our federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners also have a variety of resources available, and we strongly encourage your interaction with any law enforcement entity in this endeavor.

The FBI is committed to working with its partners to protect houses of worship, schools, workplaces, transportation centers, other public gathering sites, and all communities. We appreciate all you do to share vital messages with the people who need them most. All of us at the FBI are committed to protecting our shared community. We are not only grateful for your support in this effort, we depend on it.

Most sincerely,

Kieran