Governor Proposes Expanding Eligibility for Security Grant Funding to Include Houses of Worship
Convenes Public Safety and Security Experts at Javits Convention Center to Help Community and Religious Leaders Protect Against Hate Crimes and Access Grant Funding
Builds on $45 Million in Grant Funding Now Available to Protect Faith-Based and Cultural Institutions at Risk of a Hate Crime
Following his trip to Poland where he attended events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today proposed as part of his FY 2021 Executive Budget an additional $25 million in security grant funding for organizations vulnerable to hate crimes. The Governor also proposed expanding eligibility for these security grants to include houses of worship.
The Governor made these announcements today at the inaugural "No Hate In Our State" security grants conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, where he convened over 600 community leaders and clergy as well as state public safety officials and security experts to discuss best practices to keep communities safe and access grant funding.
These announcements build on the $45 million in grant funding now available to help organizations vulnerable to hate crimes secure and protect their facilities. Funding is being made available through two separate Requests for Applications under the third round of the landmark Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program.
"The vile acts of intolerance in our State and our country are repugnant to our values, and we must stand united in solidarity in condemning this rising tide of hate," Governor Cuomo said. "An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Government's number one responsibility is to ensure public safety, and these aggressive new efforts will provide religious and cultural institutions the support they need to protect themselves and keep their communities safe."
At the first-of-its-kind "No Hate In Our State" conference, State public safety and security experts trained leaders from cultural, religious and non-profit organization on how to harden their security infrastructure and ways to access available funding. The trainings included best practices for institutions to keep people safe, including risk assessments, responding to emergency incidents, creating an action plan, limiting entrances into facilities and increasing outdoor lighting.
Created by Governor Cuomo in 2017, the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program, which is administered through the state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, provides funding to strengthen security measures and prevent hate crimes against non-profit day care centers, community centers and cultural museums that may be vulnerable because of their ideology, beliefs or mission. Since the program's inception, more than 500 such projects have been supported by $25 million in state funding.
Hate crime statistics indicate a surge of anti-Semitism and hate crimes against the Jewish community, nationally and in New York. Nearly half of all hate crimes in New York over the last several years have been against the Jewish community. Recently, an individual invaded a rabbi's home and attacked worshippers with a machete during a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, sending five people to the hospital. The October 27, 2018 mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and recent terror attack at a kosher market in Jersey City, New Jersey, in which a local Yeshiva and Catholic school faced gunfire, underscore the need to protect Jewish institutions from violent extremism and anti-Semitism.
The vile acts of intolerance in our State and our country are repugnant to our values, and we must stand united in solidarity in condemning this rising tide of hate.
Under the first RFA for funding currently available, $25 million in grant funding through the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program is available for schools, non-profit day care centers, community centers, cultural museums and residential camps to harden facilities, both internally and externally, make physical security enhancements and support security training. Organizations that operate more than one facility may submit an application for each eligible facility, up to five applications for a maximum total request of $250,000 allowed per organization. The grants provide up to $50,000 in funding for additional security training, cameras, door-hardening, improved lighting, state-of-the-art technology and other related security upgrades at each eligible facility.
Under the second RFA currently available, $20 million in grant funding through the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program for Schools and Day Camps is available to support the same types of projects and efforts at non-public schools and non-profit day camps.
The same project cannot be funded by combining funds from the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program and the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program for Schools and Day Camps.
New York State Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Patrick A. Murphy said, "As New Yorkers, diversity and respect for human life are fundamental to our values and we will not tolerate anyone acting out to intimidate us with hate and fear. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, institutions and organizations whose beliefs may make them a target for hateful acts will have access to resources needed to harden their facilities and protect against anyone seeking to do them harm."
Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "Diversity is what makes New York State strong, and all New Yorkers deserve to feel safe in their communities. By providing critical resources to help our must vulnerable populations and bringing together key leaders, Governor Cuomo is continuing to lead the way in spreading a strong and clear message that discrimination will not be tolerated in New York."
Michael Kopy, NYS Director of Emergency Management, "We know that training, communication and preparation are paramount when dealing with emergency situations, and these hate crimes security grants will help non-profits secure their facilities and keep citizens safe. I commend Governor Cuomo on his commitment to bolstering this resource and ensuring that New York will stand up and fight whenever we are confronted with hate."
New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, ""This conference will allow State Police to partner with community leaders, as well as law enforcement, to better prevent and investigate hate crimes. The safety of those we serve is our number one priority. Together, we will work to protect those who are most vulnerable and at risk to these types of crimes."
The Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant and the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program for Schools and Day Camps programs are 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 New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to mitigate recent incidents of bias-motivated threats, harassment and violence in New York. As part of the Task Force, New York State Police, the Division of Human Rights and the Division of Criminal Justice Services engage local law enforcement agencies, county leaders, school districts and other key stakeholders and work to identify and investigate hate-motivated crimes and bias-related trends, community vulnerabilities and discriminatory practices.
Last week Governor Cuomo introduced a first-in-the-nation domestic terrorism law and legislation mandating that every student visit a museum that covers topics related to the Holocaust as part of an education curriculum on diversity and tolerance in the FY2020 budget. Governor Cuomo has also proposed expanding New York's Holocaust Museum at Battery Park City.
Also, Governor Cuomo established an additional telephone hotline and text line New Yorkers should call if they experience bias or discrimination. The phone number is 1-877-NO-HATE-NY and the hotline is open.