Rep. Pascrell Announces $225,000 in Nonprofit Security Grants to Hawthorne, Englewood, Teaneck
PATERSON – U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), an original member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, today announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded $75,000 in federal grants each to Hawthorne Gospel Church in Hawthorne, Netivot Shalom, Inc. in Teaneck, and The Moriah School in Englewood as part of the DHS Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program.
“Several recent attacks, including one right here in Bergen County, underscore the vulnerability of non-profits such as houses of worship to terrorism and hate crimes,” said Rep. Pascrell. “This federal grant is vital to the security of these vulnerable targets and the safety of the community at large. As the incidence of hate crimes continues to rise, we must ensure locations at high risk of terror attacks have the resources they need to protect themselves.”
The DHS Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which saw an increase from $10 million for FY 2013 to $13 million for FY2014, provides federal funds to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at high risk of a terrorist attack and located within one of the 39 FY 2014 UASI-eligible urban areas.
In March, Rep. Bill led a letter signed by 34 of his House colleagues urging the co-chairs of the House Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Homeland Security to fund the Nonprofit Security Grant Program at $19 million in the FY2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. The letter cites a string of anti-Semitic attacks, including the firebombing of synagogues in Bergen County, as the need for increased security funding.
The full text of the letter follows:
March 28, 2014
The Honorable John Carter, Chair The Honorable David Price, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Homeland Security Subcommittee on Homeland Security
House Appropriations Committee House Appropriations Committee
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Carter and Ranking Member Price,
Thank you for your service in ensuring that adequate resources are available to protect our communities from threats and disasters. As you consider programs that deserve additional funding, we respectfully ask you to fund the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Non-Profit Security Grant Program (NSGP) at $19 million in the FY2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. This program is vital to the security of vulnerable non-profit facilities.
As you know, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, provides critical support for physical security enhancements to nonprofit organization at high risk of a terrorist attack.
Several recent events illustrate the vulnerability of non-profits such as houses of worship to terrorism and hate crimes. Less than two years ago, a gunman killed six people and wounded four others in a tragic mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. In 2011, a string of anti-Semitic hate crimes targeting synagogues in Northern New Jersey culminated in arson when an incendiary device was thrown through the window of an Orthodox temple, that was the home of a Rabbi, his wife, five children and father. Five years ago, two synagogues in New York City were targeted by domestic terrorists, and a security guard was killed at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC in 2009. During a 2006 incident, an attacker shot six women at a Jewish community center in Seattle, killing one of them.
Credible threats against non-profit institutions across the country continue to be a problem. Last year, the FBI warned the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit last year that it was on the top of a hit list of a known white supremacist who was found in possession of a large cache of weapons and ammunition.
These incidents highlight the continuing need for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which was designed precisely so that at-risk nonprofit organizations that serve as community centers can acquire and install equipment to secure themselves against a potential terrorist attack. These capital improvements include upgraded security measures, such as installing cameras, physical barriers, or controlled entry systems.
We strongly urge you to provide $19 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program in the FY2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill. Thank you for your consideration of this request.
(Signatories of the letter include Reps. Pascrell, Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Holt, Loretta Sanchez, Keating, Sires, Brady, McCarthy, Cicilline, Schakowsky, Maloney, Payne, Hastings, Shea-Porter, Meng, Gary C. Peters , Wasserman Schultz, Ruppersberger, Rangel, Engel, Sarbanes, Fudge, Gwen Moore, Barbara Lee, Fattah, Cleaver, Conyers, Andre Carson, Heck, Meehan, Pallone, Enyart and Danny Davis.)