Pilot program will provide opportunity for organizations deemed high-risk security targets
to receive funding for security personnel
Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg and Senator Patrick J. Diegnan aimed at increasing security at New Jersey’s nonprofit organizations deemed high-risk targets of threats, attacks, and other violent acts, through the creation of a state grant program, was approved today by the Senate. It now heads to the governor’s desk.
“The threats and anti-Semitic acts we’ve seen in New Jersey and across the country underscore the need to be vigilant and to ensure we are taking steps to protect our residents. Providing grants to organizations that have been deemed at risk is one way that we can be proactive at the state level,” said Senator Weinberg (D-Bergen). “This program will allow for the hiring of security personnel by a nonprofit if necessary.”
“We know that individuals, with great animus, are looking to endanger our friends and neighbors for who they are, what they stand for, and what they believe. This program is the next logical step of the federal grant program that rightly recognizes that we need to provide resources to vulnerable organizations in order to make sure that they are safe and secure,” said Senator Diegnan (D-Middlesex).
The United States Department of Homeland Security’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) provides support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements to eligible nonprofit organizations that are determined to be high risk. However, the NSGP specifically provides that the funding may not be used to expand existing security personnel or to hire temporary security personnel during times of heightened risk.
The bill, S-2634, would create a three-year “New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program” and allow for grants to be distributed to eligible nonprofit organizations deemed high-risk targets to hire permanent or temporary security personnel for the purpose of preparedness and reduction of vulnerability.
Eligible organizations could apply for a maximum of $10,000 a year for each of the three years. Any non-profit organization located in New Jersey that is or has been eligible for the federal UASI Nonprofit Security Grant Program would be able to apply for this separate grant regardless of whether they have received a federal grant at any time. It also would apply to a nonprofit that would otherwise be eligible to receive a federal grant from the program, except that the nonprofit is located within a county not served by the program.
The Assembly approved the bill, with the governor’s recommended changes, with a vote of 67-1 in July. The Senate approved it 36-0. It now goes to the governor’s desk. The law would take effect immediately.