Talent resident supports mosque down the road

The city of Talent plans to protect Southern Oregon’s only mosque.

Cities across the region are adding security around the places of worship.

Talent Police say they’re not worried.

Chief Curtis Whipple with the Talent Police Department says they aren’t necessarily increasing security around the mosque, but it has always been included in their daily patrols.

One neighbor I spoke to down the street from the mosque hopes it remains a safe place for people to gather.

“I like having the mosque here. I think it’s diverse and it enriches the community as far as I’m concerned,” Paula Mixson said.

Paula Mixson moved to her house in Talent in 2014.

She says the mosque down the street was built a short time after.

“When they moved in, they sent invitations around to everybody inviting us to come but I’ve never gone,” Mixson said.

Mixson says they are so peacefully quiet, she barely even notices they are there.

She’s in support of the mosque and likes the idea of increased security around mosques across the nation.

“I think if it’s to protect the mosques from the people that will attack them, then I think that’s a good idea. I don’t think they’re a threat at all,” Mixson said.

Chief Curtis Whipple with the Talent Police Department says security at the mosque has been easy to manage as it’s right down the street from the Police Department, and Talent is a fairly small town.

“The mosque is within our patrol area. And it’s one of the things that we’re around quite a bit. I’d say no more no less than any other part of the city,” Chief Whipple said.

Mixson says while there is no guarantee the mosque will remain safe, she won’t lose sleep over it.

“I think it could happen. Of course it has happened already, but it’s not enough for me to say ‘get them out of my neighborhood’,” Mixson said.

For now, she plans to enjoy its presence down the road.

“I’m happy to have them here, and hope they stay a long time,” Mixson said.

The mosque serves Muslims from across the region as it’s the only one between Redding and Eugene.

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