Per Montgomery County: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich was joined by County Council Vice President Andrew Friedson and members of the County Council in Rockville today for the announcement that a total of $800,000 in grant funding will be provided to 91 County organizations to improve security and deter hate crimes. The funds will come through the County’s Nonprofit Security Grants program.
In May 2022, the County Council approved $800,000 to be available in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget for use by eligible local nonprofit or faith-based organizations whose facilities have experienced, or are at a high risk of experiencing, hate crimes.
The grants are available to help fund security personnel, security planning, training or exercise measures or new security cameras. The funds are administered by the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Emergency Management (OEMHS).
“Montgomery County is one of the most diverse communities in the country and we, as County Government, are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all people to live, work and worship safely,” said County Executive Elrich. “Incidents of antisemitic vandalism this fall, arson and vandalism last summer targeting churches along Old Georgetown Road, numerous threats experienced by local Islamic facilities and the vandalism of signage displayed by local congregations in support of our LGBTQI neighbors and the Black Lives Matter movement, all demonstrate that hate and bigotry continue to threaten the safety and security of residents in our community and around the country. Montgomery County Government is committed to countering hate and extremism. The grant awards announced today through the Nonprofit Security Grants program are affirmation of our unwavering support for our neighbors of every religion, race, ethnicity, gender, gender orientation and ability, and for those organizations who serve them.”
In addition to the grant funding, OEMHS and the County Police Department continue to provide support to all organizations who indicate the need for assistance with security.
“In Montgomery County, we have a community of diverse residents who wish to practice our faiths and cultures freely. Schools and places of worship should be sanctuaries of peace and acceptance, not fear and violence,” said County Council Vice President Friedson. “While we regret that this program is so needed at this time, I am proud to have worked with the Executive Branch and community partners to establish this grant program so we can provide added security for our residents.”
The County provides classes, assessments and training specifically designed for nonprofit and faith-based facilities. OEMHS regularly offers “Securing Houses of Worship” training for local religious facilities. The next Securing Houses of Worship training will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Rockville. Registration is required and can be completed here. County Police make trainings available for “Civilian Response to Active Shooters (CRASE),” as well as assistance with security assessments and plans.
For more information on upcoming Securing Houses of Worship trainings, contact the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security at email@example.com.
For information on CRASE trainings or facility assessment assistance, contact the MCPD Community Engagement Division at MCPD_Engaged@Montgomerycountymd.gov.
“The security trainings offered by OEMHS help facilities evaluate and better secure their physical structures, develop plans for responding to threats and emergencies, and better prepare to protect themselves and their communities,” said Luke Hodgson, director of OEMHS. “Together with our partners in the Montgomery County Police Department, we remain committed to fostering a safer environment for local nonprofits and religious institutions which are too often the targets of hate crimes.”
To qualify for grant funding, applying facilities were required to be located in Montgomery County and be a nonprofit organization or religious facility experiencing threats or hate crimes or at significant risk of being the target of a hate crime as representatives of frequently targeted groups.
All grant awardees must be IRS registered 501(c)3, tax-exempt nonprofit organizations in good standing with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation or religious organizations in good standing. Funds can only be used to provide security support or new security cameras for facilities located within the County. Organizations with more than one facility in the County were permitted to apply for grants separately for each physical location.
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