Following Calls from NH Delegation to Prioritize State and Local Counterterrorism Grants, First-Time Grants Awarded to NH to Strengthen Security at Houses of Worship
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today announced with Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded $4,077,500 to the State of New Hampshire through the State Homeland Security Program and $150,000 to seven New Hampshire religious institutions through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Senator Hassan serves as the Ranking Member of the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management Subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security Committee and Senator Shaheen is a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.
Funds from the State Homeland Security Program support terrorism prevention and preparedness at the state and local level, including ensuring that law enforcement has the equipment and training necessary to prevent terrorist attacks and save lives if attacks do occur.
This is the first time that New Hampshire institutions are receiving assistance through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program. This year, seven places of worship will receive funding to strengthen their buildings’ physical security. The grants are going to:
“As domestic and foreign terrorists alike target places of worship, malls, and other gathering places, it’s sadly more important than ever that community organizations have the resources they need to mitigate the impact of an attack—and that local and state law enforcement have robust infrastructure to prevent and respond to attacks,” Senator Hassan said. “As a member of the Homeland Security Committee, I will continue to fight for additional resources for state and local law enforcement and for other communities across our state.”
“No American should ever feel afraid or endangered while worshipping. Ensuring our first responders and state and local leaders have the tools and training they need to keep people safe is one of my top concerns, and as a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve fought to secure the federal funds necessary to deliver these resources. The safety and security of New Hampshire communities will always be my top concern, and I’ll continue to work across the aisle to boost funding for grant programs like this to ensure Granite Staters can live and worship without fear,” Senator Shaheen said.
“Terrorism poses a significant threat at home and abroad, and it is critical that we do everything we can to combat these hateful and deadly acts of violence,” said Representative Annie Kuster. “This funding will bolster our state’s security efforts – including at places of worship – and help prevent attacks before they happen, as well as save lives when they do occur. I’m pleased by this common-sense investment in the safety of New Hampshire and I will continue working to increase funding for programs and measures to protect Granite Staters.”
“It is a sad reality that churches, synagogues, mosques and other places where the faithful gather have been sites of violent attacks. Nothing is more important than the safety and security of our families and neighbors, and these federal funds will help secure vulnerable facilities and local law enforcement have the resources and training needed to keep people safe,” said Representative Chris Pappas.
Senators Hassan and Shaheen previously called on the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to take action in response to anonymous bomb threats made against Jewish institutions. Senator Hassan has urged the Department of Homeland Security and Senate appropriations leaders to prioritize robust funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program and the State Homeland Security Grant Program. Senator Shaheen has called on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee leadership to prioritize federal support for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which funds the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.