NJ Receives Additional Federal Homeland Security Funding

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STATE – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has awarded funding to New Jersey nonprofit organizations, and transit and port agencies operating in and around New Jersey under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s federal fiscal year 2012 homeland security funding programs.

Thirteen New Jersey nonprofit organizations will share almost $780,000 in federal grants to improve their security under the 2012 Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program. These nonprofit agencies operate within New Jersey’s UASI MSA region, which is comprised of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic and Union counties, as well as those operating in Hunterdon, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, and Sussex counties, and Pike County, Pennsylvania.

The nonprofit agencies receiving grants are:

  • In Bergen County: Community Synagogue of Tenafly and Englewood, Congregation Beth El, Congregation Beth Sholom, Congregation Keter Torah/Northern Teaneck Synagogue Association, Congregation Shaare Tefillah of Teaneck, Fair Lawn Jewish Center, Temple Beth El of Hackensack, and Wyckoff/Franklin Lakes Synagogue
  • In Essex County: Congregation Ahawas Achim B’Nai Jacob and David, Congregation Ohr Torah of West Orange and Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel
  • Congregation B’nai Israel Somerset Hills Jewish Center in Somerset County, and
  • Congregation Adas Israel in Passaic County

DHS allotted $10 million nationwide for this program, and made awards to 144 nonprofits across the country. New Jersey received the fourth highest nonprofit grant total, and had the fourth largest number of funding recipients.

“Enhancing security measures at nonprofit organizations located in our UASI area is a New Jersey homeland security priority,” said Edward Dickson, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “Funding from this federal grant program will enable these organizations to improve their terrorism prevention, response, and recovery capabilities, and in turn improves the State’s emergency readiness and resiliency efforts.”

The grant criteria, established by the U.S. DHS, includes 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.

Dickson 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. Dickson said that 114 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.

OHSP is in the process of notifying the nonprofit organizations that have been selected to receive funding. Additionally, Dickson said that law enforcement, emergency management and first-responder agencies operating in and around New Jersey’s port areas will share in more than $11.7 million, which represents more than 12 percent of the total funds awarded nationally. Under the 2012 Port Security Grant Program, funding will go to entities in port areas in both Southern and Northern New Jersey. Moreover, New Jersey was awarded more than $10.3 million awarded under the Transit Security Grant Program, of which $9.8 million will go directly to New Jersey Transit and $500,000 will go to the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA).

“We will work with our partner port and transit agencies to continue to manage resources that enhance the overall emergency readiness of these critical sites throughout New Jersey,” Dickson said. “Working with our partners in law enforcement, emergency management, and the private sector enables us to maximize these reduced federal dollars.”

Earlier this year, OHSP announced New Jersey was awarded more than $27 million in federal homeland security dollars for federal fiscal year 2012. New Jersey’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) received more than $21.6 million in funding, and the state’s 21 counties were awarded more than $4.9 million for homeland security and domestic preparedness initiatives.

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