Christie Administration Announces Over $1.9 Million in Federal Homeland Security Grant Funding


New Jersey received the second-highest allotment in the nation for nonprofit organizations

August 11, 2015

TRENTON – The Christie Administration announced today that New Jersey’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP) has been awarded $1.994 million for nonprofit organizations under the Jersey City/Newark Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), a 74% increase from 2014, and the second-highest total in the nation. Twenty-seven nonprofit organizations, including religious institutions, operating in New Jersey’s UASI and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) will share the federal grants to improve physical security. This year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allotted $13 million nationwide to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations in the country’s highest risk urban areas.

“Bolstering security for nonprofit organizations and religious institutions in New Jersey remains a top priority for my Administration,” said Governor Christie. “This funding will improve these organizations’ capabilities and help ensure they have the resources to stay safe.”

In addition to working to secure this funding, OHSP continues to expand outreach efforts to support target hardening for faith-based institutions, working collaboratively with local and county partners to enhance security measures at the roughly 16,000 houses of worship in the State. Security needs and concerns are addressed through OHSP’s Interfaith Advisory Council, a network of government and over 40 faith-based leaders who facilitate information sharing, dialogue, and close cooperation on a host of key issues.

“The Christie Administration and OHSP are committed to ensuring that houses of worship across our State are most effectively made safe and secure for our citizens to gather and pray freely,” said Chris Rodriguez, Director of OHSP. “Recent tragic acts of terrorism around the world and in our own country only underscore the importance of this funding.”

The grants, which can be up to $75,000 for each organization, must be used for the purchase and installation of physical security equipment or for security-related training for organization personnel. Nonprofit organizations within the seven principal UASI counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, and Union, as well as those operating in Sussex, Hunterdon, Somerset, Ocean, and Monmouth counties—and in Pennsylvania’s Pike County (MSA)—were eligible to apply to OHSP for this competitive grant program. 89 nonprofit organizations submitted funding applications to an OHSP peer review committee, which scored the applications against the DHS criteria. 

Additionally, a separate funding stream also managed by OHSP—the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program—has committed a total of $14.5 million for communications and interoperability enhancements in the Camden and Atlantic City regions. Approximately $10 million will be used in Camden and another $4.5 million will be used in Atlantic City to expand public safety dedicated communications for each region.  This funding comes at an opportune time and in advance of two high profile events scheduled in September.  Atlantic City will host the Miss America pageant and the Camden region is expecting a large influx of visitors when Pope Francis visits Philadelphia.

More information about OHSP’s Public Safety Network can be found at www.jerseynet.state.nj.us. More information about OHSP and federal homeland security funding can be found at www.njhomelandsecurity.gov/general-information.

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The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP), a Cabinet-level agency, was created in 2006.  The OHSP Director serves as the Governor’s Homeland Security Advisor, and is responsible for leading the state’s counterterrorism and preparedness efforts across all levels of government and the private sector. OHSP oversees and distributes discretionary state and federal homeland security and emergency preparedness funds on behalf of New Jersey.  More information about OHSP can be found at www.njhomelandsecurity.gov.

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