Poway City Council votes to tighten security at places of worship

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POWAY, Calif. -- Members of the Poway City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an ordinance aimed at improving safety at places of worship.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said the discussion around heightened security measures began after a gunman walked into the Chabad of Poway in April and opened fire, killing one congregant and wounding others.

Vaus said religious leaders asked the city to step up and amend city codes that allow for taller fences and walls to be built around their facilities. Currently, there is a six-foot height limit. Under the new ordinance, fences and walls can be eight feet tall. An additional one foot of barbed wire is also allowed with the city's approval.

Vaus said they consulted with security experts before drafting the ordinance.

"It doesn’t guarantee that something horrible won’t happen again but it reduces the odds that it’s going to be easy for them to get in and do harm," Vaus told FOX 5. “If there are other houses of worship that feel the need for more security, this clears the way for them to step up."

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