Skip to content

ICYMI: Senator Hassan Hosts Roundtable on Strengthening Security for Houses of Worship and Nonprofits

LACONIA – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan hosted a roundtable with community leaders to discuss efforts to strengthen security for nonprofits and houses of worship. Participants discussed the impact of grants they received through the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program that Senator Hassan successfully worked to expand.

In 2020, former President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senator Hassan to codify in law that this grant funding for houses of worship and nonprofit organizations must be available for small states like New Hampshire, not just major metropolitan areas. Senator Hassan has also successfully worked to increase funding for the program, and earlier this month, she led the New Hampshire delegation in announcing more than $2.1 million in grants for New Hampshire through this program.

Read coverage of the event from Laconia Daily Sun, Union Leader, and WMUR

WMUR: Federal grants help religious groups, nonprofit organizations improve security

By Troy Lynch

Several nonprofit organizations and houses of worship around New Hampshire are adding security measures, thanks to millions of dollars in federal grant money.

Over the past three years, New Hampshire organizations have split about $4 million in grant money to improve their security.

On Thursday, the organizations, law enforcement and state officials went to Laconia to discuss how they are improving security. They spoke with U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, who pushed to make the grants available.[…]

Laconia Daily Sun: Lakes Region houses of worship earn security grants

By Jon Decker

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) hosted a roundtable discussion at Temple B'nai Israel on Thursday, speaking with faith leaders, law enforcement and nonprofit organizations regarding grant funding efforts for security. Each member at the roundtable had received federal grant funding from a 2020 bipartisan bill that provided security funds for houses of worship and nonprofits in rural areas.

“No matter your faith or background, this should be a concern for all of us,” Hassan said at the top of the meeting. “We should be united against hate, antisemitism and acts of violence.”

[…]Such funds can be used to reinforce places like the Learning Partnership with better alarm systems, shatter-proof glass, and electronic locks to buy time for first responders during a worst-case scenario.

In other cases, such as at the Hampton Congregational Church, the funds were used for online safety training.

The temple has long had security cameras, but Keltz said the grant has allowed for an expansion and upgrade of the system, as well as making the cameras more modern and user-friendly.

Temples, churches, mosques and other places of worship have been particularly vulnerable targets for shootings and other forms of violence over the last few years.

[…]“I try to remember that people in New Hampshire work together every day to solve problems, and they do it regardless of what the politics are because they know that we are all Granite Staters, and we’re all Americans and we need our democracy and our economy to work,” Hassan said.

“I encourage people to talk with each other about your common interests, to remember your capacity in your business or in your community to solve a problem with people you may not agree with on everything, and just trying to hold your elected leaders accountable for following that example.”

Union Leader: Houses of worship and children's services federal grants to beef up security

By Roberta Baker

 Cyber attacks. Teenagers with holstered sidearms. Emailed messages of intolerance and warnings of violence. Lists of houses of worship where guns are welcome — or aren’t.

The culture of real and perceived threats to safety has expanded in New Hampshire and nationwide, according to organizations charged with keeping religious congregations and children safe.

On Thursday, representatives from houses of worship and nonprofits that care for youth met at Temple B’nai Israel with Sen. Maggie Hassan to trade ideas about improving their physical and online security.

Charitable organizations statewide — including temples, churches and charities that care for children — can tap into more than $2.1 million in federal funding from the Nonprofit Security Grant Program for security measures. For some, help is coming just in time.

[…]According to Hassan, who chairs the Department of Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Emergent Threats, national data indicate a rise in antisemitism and white supremacism, as well as increased cyber threats at K-12 schools. Hate rhetoric is also aimed at houses of worship that welcome people of all gender identities.

”We’ve had the (rainbow) flag stolen so we know there is potential” for other acts,” said Brown at Center Harbor Congregational Church. “Bullying is behind a lot of this. People who have been bullies become bullies.” […]