Interfaith Advisory Council

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Overview

Created in 2012, the New Jersey Interfaith Advisory Council (IAC) is a network designed to facilitate the sharing and dissemination of information with faith-based organizations and pertinent members of their communities around New Jersey. The IAC is chaired by NJOHSP Director Jared Maples.

Collaboration

The Council provides a venue for government officials and members of law enforcement to maintain an open dialogue with hundreds of Christian, Muslim, Sikh, and Jewish faith-based leaders throughout New Jersey. The IAC, which has more than 2,500 active members across the State, meets on a quarterly basis, with representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, New Jersey State Police, FBI, and local law enforcement among those in attendance. Open communication at these meetings has strengthened the goodwill between law enforcement and faith-based groups that is crucial toward keeping religious communities safe and secure in one of the most diverse states in the nation. The IAC has been the sounding board for a variety of concerns and provides partnering agencies with feedback and insight into the needs of the community at large in an effort to enhance their ability to better protect themselves and prepare for natural and manmade disasters.

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Interfaith Advisory Council Fact Sheet

The Interfaith Advisory Council (IAC) fact sheet is a one-page resource that can be provided to members of the religious community who wish to learn more about the IAC and what it can offer.


Community Resources

To supplement the key activities of the IAC, NJOHSP provides security training, at no cost, and facilitates the availability of grant opportunities for nonprofit organizations in these communities to improve facility security and develop their own training programs.

Grant Opportunities

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Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)

Provides funding to organizations, as described under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, at high risk of terrorist attacks and located within designated areas of New Jersey.

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New Jersey Nonprofit Security Grant Pilot Program (NJGSPP)

Provides funding to eligible nonprofit organizations across New Jersey, as described under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, at the greatest risk of terrorist attacks.

 

Training

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Instructor-led Security Training

We offer customized security training and exercises to groups and organizations at no cost. Topics include terrorism awareness, active shooter response, and suspicious activity reporting.

Active Shooter Response Training

This online training provides nationally recognized procedures for personal safety, situational awareness, and general knowledge of current and continuing activities to detect, deter, and mitigate active shooter incidents.


Testimonials


ReportING Bias crimes

The New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR) is the state agency charged with enforcing the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) by investigating acts of bias, discrimination, and harassment in employment, housing and real estate, credit and contracting, and places of public accommodation (including schools, government buildings, restaurants, hotels, stores, hospitals, theaters, and other places open to the public) on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability, age, pregnancy or breastfeeding, liability for service in the armed forces, and other protected characteristics.

Some of DCR’s investigations concern incidents that could also be a bias crime. But a DCR investigation is not the same as a criminal investigation. When an employee finds a noose hanging from his locker at work, or a student finds a swastika painted on a bathroom wall at school, law enforcement officers search for the person responsible and decide whether he or she should be prosecuted. When DCR investigates, they look at whether the employer or school knew or should have known that there was a racially hostile work environment or a religiously hostile school environment, and whether it took necessary steps to address the problem. DCR also offers community education and training programs, and partners with faith groups, community groups, and other stakeholders to address hate, bias, and prejudice in our communities.

For more information on DCR, please visit: www.njcivilrights.gov.

BIAS CRIME UNIT

The mission of the Bias Crime Unit, located within the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, is the statewide coordination of efforts to eliminate crimes motivated by prejudice against others based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, gender identify or expression and national origin.

How to report a BIAS CRIME

If you would like to report a bias crime, please visit: www.nj.gov/oag/dcj/biascrime.

Police Chaplain Program

The Police Chaplain Program is a partner to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney as well as many State, County and Local Law Enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey. The Chaplain Program trains clergy to be police chaplains, assisting law enforcement in a myriad of different functions. Their efforts help build public trust, bringing the community and law enforcement to a more cohesive working relationship.

For more information on this program, please visit: www.The-Police-Chaplain-Program.org.


Additional Resources

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Interfaith Advisory Council Podcast

Join NJOHSP Director Jared Maples and Chief of Staff Patrick Rigby as they discuss the importance of the IAC, provide examples of what occurs at meetings, and highlight the many valuable resources available to New Jersey’s faith-based communities.

Security Guidelines for Houses of Worship

These guidelines were developed to coordinate and enhance information sharing practices in an effort to identify and mitigate security vulnerabilities for houses of worship in New Jersey.

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Bomb Threats: What to do?

Bomb threats or suspicious items should always be taken seriously. How quickly and safely you react to a bomb threat could save lives, including your own. What should you do?

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Infrastructure Protection Resource Sheet

Religious facilities serve millions of people of all faiths and denominations throughout the United States. These facilities are generally open-access public assembly venues, and terrorists have successfully targeted them in the past.

Facility Self-Assessment Tool

This tool assists organizations with identifying security vulnerabilities. By answering a series of security related questions, users can quickly identify areas for improvement.

The Role of Security Coordinators

Security coordinators act as liaisons to local law enforcement and are trained to develop, coordinate, and oversee protective measures needed to keep houses of worship, schools, or community centers secure.

Outreach Materials

Terrorism awareness materials are available on request. You can download posters in multiple languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, English, Hindi, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.