Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy

Police stand watch at Syrian church

Tim Willert

Dissention among members of a local Syrian church has caught the

attention of Burbank Police.

Six officers and a supervisor, in response to reports of verbal


confrontations between congregation members, monitored Sunday’s

service at St. Ephraim Syrian Orthodox Church at 900 N. Glenoaks


“There was a potential that it could have become confrontational,”


Lt. John Dilibert said. “We just thought we’d better have some guys

out there.”

St. Ephraim Father Joseph Tarzi did not return calls seeking

comment Tuesday. But Dilibert said the disagreements apparently stem

from how church donations are being dispersed.

Officers who stood watch at the church Sunday were part of a

regular patrol contingent and not Special Response Team members, even

though they wore additional protective gear, including helmets,


Dilibert said.

Two of the officers monitored the service inside the church.

Although there were a couple of verbal altercations among members,

Dilibert said cooler heads prevailed.

“That’s what we’re happy about,” said Dilibert, who added that

police are continuing to monitor the situation.