By Hank Tester

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BAL HARBOR (CBSMiami) – There is a new ordinance on the books in Bal Harbor.

Reacting to what the Bal Harbor mayor Gabriel Groisman says is an increase in anti-Semitic activity in South Florida, the Bal Harbor village council passed an ordinance that “considers anti-Semitism in enforcing village laws.”

“[The law] also provides law enforcement the tools to identify anti-Semitism when they see it,” Groisman said.

The ordinance allows the city’s police officers to investigate anti-Semitism as a violation of the city’s ordinances, in addition to their authority to investigate violations of state crimes despite state and federal laws covering hate crimes.

“We should not wait for the federal government or state government. We can do it at a local level.”

Which goes down well in Bal Harbor that has a high percentage of Jewish residents that are highly sensitive to terror and anti-Semitic threats both foreign and domestic.

While the ordinance mentions only anti-Semitism, the council is set to reach further.

“I look forward to our council and our community supporting a companion ordinance against hate crimes of any kind at our January meeting,” said councilman Jeffrey Freimark.

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