Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Rep. Pascrell Calls for Nonprofit Security Grant Program Funding

Apr 2, 2014
Press Release
Urges $19 million allocation in FY2015 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to protect vulnerable non-profit facilities

Washington, D.C.  - In continuing his fight to protect nonprofit organizations at high risk of terrorist attack, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09) 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.

"Several recent events illustrate the vulnerability of non-profits such as houses of worship to terrorism and hate crimes," the lawmakers wrote in the letter. "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. 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."

The Nonprofit Security Grant program saw an increase from $10 million for FY 2013 to $13 million for FY2014.

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.

Sincerely,

(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.)

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