By Zalman Myer-Smith, Director of the Community Security Organization
In the next few weeks, applications for the highly competitive Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Grant will open. There is a small window of time to get sites ready for application packets to be researched, completed and submitted. While no one knows the exact dates of opening or announcement, it is anticipated to be announced in February.
Here is a guide to ensure that you and your site are prepared to present the best possible application:
The foundation of security for your location is based on an independent security assessment by an experienced law enforcement or private security professional. A thorough assessment identifies strengths and weaknesses, allows you to understand how an attacker may target your site, and how to mitigate a potential attack.
For obvious security reasons, I am not going to get into details here, but suffice to say that your local law enforcement agency or experienced private security professional is more than capable of identifying and breaking down the security challenges and solutions at your site.
The assessment is used as a supporting document by grant writers to build your case to DHS as to why they should invest up to $100,000 in your site versus other worthy applicants. There is a finite amount of sites who will get awarded and the priority is to ensure that you are one of those sites.
Every Jewish site, whether it be a shul, school or Chabad House, needs a security assessment as part of its operational plans. So for the safety and security of your community, please contact your local law enforcement agency today to schedule an assessment visit.
In the second part of this guide, exclusively published on COLlive, we will delve into the different security upgrade items that are allowable and how to decide what your security improvement priorities should be.
For further information on the DHS Security Grant process, go to www.JewishCommunityGrants.com