Funding Will Boost Safety and Security at Eligible Schools and Day Care Centers that are Particularly Vulnerable to Potential Hate Crimes
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that applications from non-profit nonpublic schools and day care centers, including those that are housed in community centers and non-profit cultural museums, are now being accepted for the $25 million Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant program. The program provides grants to help strengthen security measures and help prevent hate crimes or attacks against these facilities because of their ideology, beliefs or mission.
"New York knows its diversity is its strength, and as a people we have zero tolerance for those who seek to use division and hate to divide us," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will help eligible schools, day care centers and cultural museums that are at risk of hate crimes because of their beliefs or mission take additional steps to increase the security of their facilities and keep our communities safe. With this action, we are taking one more step toward a safer, stronger and more just New York for all."
The grant, which is administered by the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, will provide up to $50,000 in funding for additional security training needs, cameras and state-of-the-art technology, door-hardening, improved lighting and other related security upgrades at each eligible facility. Organizations that operate more than one facility may submit up to three applications for a total request of up to $150,000. Applications for these awards are due by 4 p.m. on December 18, 2017.
Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Roger L. Parrino Sr. said, "Schools and day care centers should be a safe place for children to learn and grow. I applaud Governor Cuomo's actions to provide this funding to organization that could be targeted by individuals or groups because of their beliefs. Investing in our children's safety is an investment in our future."
The $25 million Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant program is just one piece of an extensive effort launched by Governor Cuomo to combat hate crimes in New York. The FY 2018 State Budget established a statewide Hate Crimes Task Force to mitigate recent incidents of bias-motivated threats, harassment, and violence in New York. The Task Force will engage county leaders, district attorneys, school district leaders, local police departments and other key stakeholders to identify and investigate hate motivated crimes and bias related trends, community vulnerabilities and discriminatory practices.
Additionally, the Governor established a telephone hotline and text line through the Division of Human Rights to report incidents of bias and discrimination. Texts are monitored by the State Police, who handle any potential criminal matters. Cases of discrimination that are covered by the New York State Human Rights Law may be further investigated by the Division. A $5,000 reward is also being made available for any information leading to an arrest and conviction for a hate crime.
All New Yorkers who have experienced bias or discrimination are encouraged to call DHR's toll-free hotline at (888) 392-3644 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday or text "HATE" to 81336. If you want to report a crime or fear for your safety, call 911 immediately.
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) and its four offices -- Counter Terrorism, Emergency Management, Fire Prevention and Control, and Interoperable and Emergency Communications -- provide leadership, coordination and support for efforts to prevent, protect against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other man-made and natural disasters, threats, fires and other emergencies. For more information, visit the DHSES Facebook page, follow @NYSDHSES on Twitter, or visit dhses.ny.gov.
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