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Police plan extra patrols around Portland-area churches

TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Portland Police Chief Lawarence P. O'Dea III says officers will add extra patrols around Portland-area churches in the wake of the June 17 shooting that killed nine people in a Charleston, S.C., church.Portland police say they will keep a close watch on Portland-area churches after the June 17 shooting in a Charleston, S.C., church that killed nine people.

Police will send extra patrols in areas neighboring houses of worship throughout the city beginning this weekend. The extra patrols will continue for several weeks.

Police said the bureau did not have specific information about any threats, but it wanted to be “proactive in protecting our community and places of worship of all religions.”

“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the vicious attack in Charleston,” said Chief Lawrence P. O'Dea III. “Our officers are here to protect everyone in the community from barbarous, hateful acts of violence. We hope to provide some sense of security as our community comes together to begin the healing process.”

Dylann Storm Roof, 21, is being held on murder charges in connection with Wednesday night’s shooting during a Bible study at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Police say he spent about an hour in the service before shooting six women and three men in the sanctuary. One of the victims was the church’s lead pastor Clementa Pinckney, a South Carolina state senator.