Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the $10 million grant program to help protect New York’s non-public schools and cultural centers, including religious-based institutions, against hate crimes is now accepting applications. Building upon the success of last year’s first round which provided $14.8 million in grants, the program provides funding to help strengthen security measures and help prevent hate crimes or attacks against these facilities because of their ideology, beliefs or mission. Day care centers, including those that are housed in community centers, and non-profit cultural museums are also eligible to apply.
- SFY18-19 SCAHC Request for Applications
- SFY18-19 SCAHC FAQs
- SFY18-19 SCAHC Attachment B – DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool
- SFY18-19 SCAHC E-Grants Tutorial
- E-Grants Registration Form
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated as of 10/30/2018
Question: Is my organization eligible for this grant funding?
Answer: You are eligible if you meet the following criteria:
Have received a Recognition of Exempt Status Determination letter from the IRS pursuant to 26 USC §501(c)(3). Alternatively, the applicant may self-certify by providing a letter affirming that the organization qualifies as a §501(c)(3) organization and is exempt from tax pursuant to 26 USC §501(a); and meet at least one of the following:
- are a non-profit nonpublic school recognized with the New York State Department of Education with a current Basic Educational Data System (BEDS code); or
- are a non-profit day care center or school-age child care program licensed and/or registered, respectively, by the Office of Children and Family Services; or
- are a group day care center permitted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; or
- have enrolled group programs. that are legally-exempt from the requirement to be licensed or registered by the Office of Children and Family Services; or
- are a non-profit cultural museum which is a building or site for the exhibition or promotion of arts and culture of a particular region or people;
- Be at a significant risk of a hate crime due to ideology, beliefs, or mission;
- Be registered, have recently applied for registration or be exempt from registering with the NYS Attorney General’s Office, Charities Bureau;
- Be prequalified, through the New York State Grants Gateway at https://grantsgateway.ny.gov prior to application submission.
Question: Is there a more specific definition as to what is considered a “museum”?
Answer: For purposes of this grant program, non-profit cultural museums are defined of the RFA as: “a non-profit cultural museum which is a building or site for the exhibition or promotion of arts and culture of a particular region or people.”
To be eligible for funding as a non-profit cultural museum, your application must demonstrate that you meet this requirement.
Question: What kind of proof do you require for non-profit cultural museums defined as a building or site for the exhibition or promotion of arts and culture of a particular region or people?
Answer: While there are no specific documents required for cultural museums to submit, when completing the Risk Evaluation Tool, your response to the Background Information section should include any relevant information to demonstrate that you are applying for a building or site for the exhibition or production of arts and culture of a particular region or people.
Question: Are non-profit colleges (i.e., a medical school), or institutions of higher education eligible?
Answer: Non-profit non-public schools (through grade 12) are eligible to apply. While institutions of higher education are not included as part of eligible applicant pool under this Request for Applications.
Question: Do you require any quotes or information uploaded for the projects?
Answer: You should not provide vendor quotes with your application. You should gather estimated costs for your application budget but you should not be engaging in bidding or contracting with vendors until and unless you are awarded funding and have received an executed grant contract from DHSES. If you are awarded a grant you will need to comply with all State procurement guidelines and regulations in the grant contract.
Question: Are there matching requirements for the grant?
Answer: No, there are no matching funds required for this grant.
Question: Are there reporting requirements once an award has been made?
Answer: Yes, there are reporting requirements for successful applicants of this grant. Please visit our website at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/forms-egrants.cfm and scroll down to the section titled “Contract Certifications & Appendices” to review standard contract documents.
Question: If I do not have a completed risk/threat/vulnerability assessment on file, do I still need to fill out the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool?
Answer: Yes. The DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool is a required application submission.
Question: What must be submitted to consider the application complete?
Answer: Applications must be submitted via E-Grants and all required sections as shown in the tutorial must be answered. Applications must also include:
- the completed DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool
- a color, ground-level photo of the front façade of the facility, which is labeled with the name and address of facility
- Status History Report from Grants Gateway website showing prequalification status
- Documentation indicating your BEDS code and; a copy of the license and/or registration issued by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services or permit issues by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; if enrolled legally exempt, the Notice of Enrollment submitted as an attachment.
Question: What is the application due date for the SFY2018/2019 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program?
Answer: Applications are due to Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services by 5:00 pm on December 19, 2018. Applications submitted past this date will be disqualified. Individual extensions will not be given.
Question: What will happen if I fail to answer all the required sections of the application?
Answer: Applicants are required to answer all the required sections in E-Grants and attach all the required documents. Failure to answer all the required questions on the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool will lead to a reduction in your score for the section being reviewed and could lead to an unfavorable overall score by the review panel. Failure to attach all the required documents will disqualify you from the review process.
Question: Can I submit more than one application?
Answer: Applications will be accepted for up to $50,000 per facility. Eligible organizations may submit up to three applications for a maximum total request of up to $150,000 allowed per organization.
Question: We do not own our building, we rent space; can we still purchase equipment?
Answer: Permissible costs are focused on external facility hardening activities that mitigate risks/vulnerabilities identified in the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool. Funding can be used for the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property/existing facilities owned or leased by the non-profit organization, specifically in prevention of and/or protection against hate crimes. Any applicant who proposes work on a leased property is exclusively responsible to ensure compliance with the landlord lease agreement and associated requirements, particularly with regard to structural alterations, equipment installations and any alterations made with grant funds. Additionally, applicant/grantee is solely responsible for compliance with any and all federal, state and local permitting or environmental compliance requirements. Security enhancements must be for the facility or facilities that the organization physically occupies at the time of application.
Question: Are costs associated with conducting a risk assessment reimbursable under this grant?
Answer: No, since a risk assessment is not a requirement, costs associated with a risk assessment are not reimbursable under this grant.
Question: What are the consequences of requesting budget items that are not allowable?
Answer: If you request budgetary items that are not allowed under the SFY2018/2019 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program, those items will not be considered.
Question: Can the grant be used for security installations during the construction of a facility?
Answer: No. Security enhancements must be for the facility(ies) that the organization physically occupies at the time of application.
Question: What equipment can be purchased with this grant?
Answer: For purposes of this grant, permissible costs are focused on external facility hardening activities that mitigate risks/vulnerabilities identified in the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool. Funding can be used for the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property/existing facilities owned or leased by the non-profit organization, specifically in prevention of and/or protection against hate crimes. Allowable equipment consists of, but is not limited to:
- Perimeter lighting;
- Door hardening;
- Alarm systems;
- Camera-based security systems;
- Access control systems;
- Perimeter fencing; barriers;
- Blast resistant film for windows/shatter resistant glass.
Question: Can organizations ask for a combination of exterior hardening and security training, or is only one type of cost category allowed to be requested.
Answer: Organizations may request a combination of allowable costs listed in the RFA on Page 5 but must stay within the cap as noted on Page 1 of the RFA.
Question: We plan to add cameras to the facility’s exterior. Improvements to the interior network will be required to handle the camera’s essential recording and monitoring functions. Are those network improvements eligible costs?
Answer: Improvements or upgrades to a current CCTV system would be an eligible cost as long as you are installing/upgrading cameras to the exterior of the facility.
Question: Are fire alarm systems eligible?
Answer: Per the RFA under Section F. Authorized Program Expenditures; applications must be for projects to protect against hate crime activity by: Hardening the organization’s facility or facilities including recreational areas adjacent to the facility through exterior physical security enhancements; and/or providing security training that will advance the knowledge of security personnel and staff. Fire alarm systems do not meet the requirements under this RFA.
Question: Can we apply for Management and Administration (M&A) costs to have someone manage the installation of the equipment and/or oversee the grant project?
Answer: No, M&A costs are not allowable under this grant funding.
Question: How do I submit my application for the SFY2018/2019 Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program?
Answer: Applications must be submitted via DHSES’s E-Grants system. If you are not registered to use the E-Grants system, your agency will need to register and be assigned a user name and password. Please refer to: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/hate-crimes.cfm for detailed instructions.
Question: Why can’t I find the link to go directly to E-Grants?
Answer: E-Grants is a secure system. Once you have been registered and issued a username and password, you will be sent the link to the E-Grants sign in page. You should bookmark this link.
Question: If I am already registered as a user of E-Grants, can I just use my existing username and password to create a new application?
Answer: Yes, you may. However, if you have not used E-Grants recently you may find your username and password have been disabled. In that case, send an e-mail to: email@example.com and identify your name, agency and current username and password (if known).
Question: Is there a specific naming convention for the Risk Evaluation Tool being uploaded using E Grants?
Answer: No, there is no specific naming convention for the Risk Evaluation Tool, however, it would be helpful it you identified if by the name of the organization or address of the facility.
Question: Attachment B DHSES Risk Assessment Tool (pg. 19 of RFA) asks about a previous risk/security/threat assessment, is this assessment necessary in order to apply for this grant funding?
Answer: No. We do not require that you have an assessment as part of the grant application process. If you do have an assessment you should use it to help you complete the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool.
Question: What will happen if I am late to register on E-Grants?
Answer: If you do not register on time for E-Grants you risk missing your overall deadline for the application. You should register as soon as you know that you intend to submit an application to avoid any issues.
Question: What will happen if I select the wrong funding program in E-Grants?
Answer: Please ensure you select the correct funding program for your application. If you select the wrong funding program in E-Grants, your application will be disqualified. The funding program for this grant is called “Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes.”
Question: How do I upload documents to my E-Grants Application?
Answer: See the E-Grants tutorial page 54 through 58 at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/hate-crimes.cfm
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is offering Active Shooter Preparedness Workshops in the New York area on October 16 (NYC) and October 19 (White Plains). For additional information and a schedule of other sites and dates contact ASWorkshop@hq.dhs.gov.
Participants will learn how to mitigate the impacts of an active shooter incident and how to develop an initial organizational emergency action plan focused on such incidents.
- Developing an Emergency Action Plan with guidance from expert instructors;
- Identifying strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in physical security and planning considerations via break-out sessions;
- Learning how to prevent active shooter incidents by recognizing behavioral indicators on the pathway to violence;
- Understanding the history of significant active shooter incidents through survivor stories and expert perspectives;
- Developing communication and incident plans for employees;
- Building relationships with local first responders;
- Coordinating with first responders before, during, and after an incident; and
- Integrating public affairs into incident management.
Follow the links to see more information and to register for the New York City event on October 16, 2018 and for the White Plains event on October 18, 2018. Registration is required and seating is limited.
Click here for the JCRC-NY dedicated Active Shooter Resources webpage that includes resources from many sources.
Rosh Chodesh Elul includes clarion calls indicating that the High Holidays are coming soon. So, now is a good time to check out a recent presentation on synagogue security or to take a deeper dive into the library of documents available on the JCRC-NY Security Resources pages. Here are some relevant selections:
High Holiday Security and Emergency Preparedness Planning Library
- High Holidays: Are you ready to get out if you have to?
- JCRC-NY High Holiday Security Thinkplate
- Access control considerations during High Holiday services (PDF)
- Houses of Worship and the High Holidays
- Planning for the Unexpected – High Holiday Edition 2010 (PDF)
- Are you prepared? 5 steps to make your facility safer and more secure
- Sample Building Access Policies & Procedures (PDF)
- Bomb Threat Guidance resources. See also Hoax threats can be scary, too, To evacuate or not to evacuate? That is the question., DHS’ Introduction to Bomb Threat Management, Manhattan bomb threat: lessons learned, Bomb threat training video.
- Active Shooter Resources Page (DHS, FBI and NYPD)
- Cybersecurity Resources Page
- US Postal Inspection Service Guide to Mail Center Security (PDF)
Vulnerability, Risk and Safety Assessments and Planning
- FEMA: Reference Manual to Mitigate Potential Terrorist Attacks Against Buildings
- FEMA, Emergency Operations Planning
- Potential Indicators, Common Vulnerabilities, and Protective Measures: Religious Facilities (Updated)
- Hometown Security Report Series: Houses of Worship
- K-12 School Security: A Guide for Preventing and Protecting against Gun Violence (2nd ed., 2018) provides preventive and protective measures to address the threat of gun violence in schools. The Guide is delivered in two parts: the first portion is a PDF with general security best practices and considerations in narrative format; while the second portion is a Microsoft Excel-based security survey. Together, these documents outline action-oriented security practices and options for consideration based on the results of the individual school’s responses to the survey. While the primary audience for the Guide is the K-12 community, institutions of higher education or pre-K schools may also benefit from the information presented.
- NYPD: Engineering Security: Protective Design for High Risk Buildings
- OSHA: Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool. This expert system will help you to create a basic Emergency Action Plan. This basic plan likely will be adequate for needs of many small and medium-sized entities. Most small and medium-sized entities can create basic plans using this system in 10 to 15 minutes. Larger, more complex organizations will require more work.
- Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities. U.S. Department of Education, Office of Drug Free and Safe Schools. Taking action now can save lives, prevent injury, and minimize property damage in the moments of a crisis. The importance of reviewing and revising school and district plans cannot be underscored enough, and Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities is designed to help you navigate this process. The Guide is intended to give schools, districts, and communities the critical concepts and components of good crisis planning, stimulate thinking about the crisis preparedness process, and provide examples of promising practices.
- Emergency Preparedness Planning Guide for Childcare Centers. From the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (a collaborative program between the Illinois Department of Public Health and Loyola University Chicago). Lots of ideas to keep toddlers safe.
- Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center, U.S. Department of Education
- REMS: Conducting a Safety Audit
- California STAS: Protective Measures for Enhanced Facilities Security
- New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Critical Infrastructure Protection Bureau: Facility Self-Assessment Tool (updated) and other tools here.
K-12 School Security: A Guide for Preventing and Protecting against Gun Violence (2nd ed., 2018) provides preventive (i.e., spotting potentially problematic individuals) and protective measures (i.e., policies and procedures) to address the threat of gun violence in schools.
The Guide is delivered in two parts:
- a PDF with general security best practices and considerations in narrative format;
- a Microsoft Excel-based security survey.
Together, these documents outline action-oriented security practices and options for consideration based on the results of the individual school’s responses to the survey. While the primary audience for the Guide is the K-12 community, houses of worship, nonprofits, camps, institutions of higher education or pre-K schools may also benefit from the information presented.
The National Explosives Task Force (NETF) coordinates rapid integration of explosives expertise with intelligence and law enforcement information to support operational activities. Products are peer-reviewed by explosives experts from participating agencies.
National Explosives Task Force
Suspicious Package Indicators and Recommended Response Procedures
Package bombs, which include letters, parcels, and anything delivered by postal or courier service, are not a new technique and have been used by terrorists and anarchist groups. Many of these bombs are triggered when victims handle or open the packages, although they can be initiated in other ways.
Package bombs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they may look harmless. There are a number of characteristics that may lead you to become suspicious of a letter or package.
If you believe a letter or package is suspicious:
- Stop. Do not handle or open.
- Do not use cell phones, pagers, or two-way radios near suspected devices.
- Be aware of secondary devices.
- Evacuate and isolate the immediate area.
- If applicable, activate the facility’s emergency plan.
- Make note of the characteristics that caused suspicion.
- Call 911.
Formal Screening Procedures
Commercial or government entities with mail screening procedures are advised to review existing procedures for screening packages, identifying suspicious items, and instituting the appropriate safety protocols.
If no current procedures are in place, guidance should be sought from local, state, and/or federal resources. Planning considerations should include (but not be limited to) recurring training for screeners, an understanding of the standards and limitations for operating times, and regularly scheduled maintenance of screening equipment, such as calibration, updates, and testing.
The NETF prepared this document to raise awareness of package bombs and the need for diligence and safety procedures in evaluating suspected improvised explosive devices. If a suspicious package is found, call 911. Any diagnostic or render safe actions should be performed only by the appropriate experts.
The U.S. government has resources on mail security available to citizens and businesses. More
information can be found at http://about.usps.com/securing-the-mail/mail-security-center.htm. Click here to download a PDF copy of this notice.