TRENTON – Twenty-seven New Jersey nonprofit organizations will share more than $1.8 million in federal grant funds to improve their security under the 2011 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP).
Nonprofit agencies operating within New Jersey’s UASI MSA region, which is comprised of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic and Union, as well as those operating in Hunterdon, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, Sussex and Pike County Pennsylvania were eligible for funding. DHS allotted almost $19 million nationwide for this program, and made awards to 269 nonprofits across the country. Of the 21 UASI areas awarded funding, New Jersey received the fifth highest nonprofit grant total, and had the fifth largest number of funding recipients.
In Union County, Trinitas Regional Medical Center will receive a $75,000 grant. In Middlesex County, Congregation Ohr Torah, St. Peter’s Healthcare System, and Temple Emanu-El will each receive $75,000 awards, while Catholic Center at Rutgers will get $49,301.
“Ensuring that non-profit organizations that are deemed high-risk have the resources needed to improve their physical security and increase their resiliency is an important part of our statewide strategy,” said Charles B. McKenna, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “Under this grant program, these 27 nonprofit organizations will be able to enhance their prevention, response, and recovery capabilities to be better protected in the event of a terrorist attack.”
The grant criteria, established by DHS, included whether the eligible organizations:
- Maintain a site with symbolic value and is a recognized national or historical institution that makes it an attractive target;
- Have a role in responding to or recovering from a terrorist attack;
- Have potential vulnerabilities to attack, especially if documented by a prior risk assessment;
- Have been the subject of an identified and substantiated attack or closely allied with an organization that has been the subject of an attack by a terrorist organization inside or outside the U.S.
McKenna said the grant awards, which are up to $75,000 for each organization, must be used for “target hardening” activities, such as the purchase and installation of physical security equipment or for security-related training for organization personnel. McKenna said that 58 nonprofit organizations submitted funding applications to an OHSP peer review committee, which scored the applications against the DHS criteria. OHSP then submitted the applications to DHS which made the final award determination.
Earlier this year, OHSP announced New Jersey was awarded more than $59 million in federal homeland security dollars for federal fiscal year 2011. The federal UASI program is designed to provide funding to high-threat, high-density urban areas, and to help them build capacity to prevent, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism. Since 2003, New Jersey’s UASI has received more than $286 million in federal funds to protect the state’s densely populated Northeast region. More information about OHSP can be found at www.njhomelandsecurity.gov.
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