Category Archive: Synagogue Security

Register for DHS Active Shooter Workshops

Posted on August 17, 2018

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.

Topics include:

  • 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.

High Holidays planning: Using the “Mass Gatherings” template

Posted on August 15, 2018

A recent DHS publication, Mass Gatherings: Security Awareness for Soft Targets and Crowded Places, can be a great template for your security planning process. Virtually every suggestion in the document can be applied to your High Holiday security planning process, as well as other special events.

Your services are usually associated with larger than normal crowds and could be an attractive target for terrorism and other crimes. By connecting with local authorities, developing plans to identify issues and support incident response, training staff and volunteers, and reporting concerns to emergency authorities, many incidents may be mitigated or avoided.

Organizations should “Connect, Plan, Train, and Report”. Applying these four steps in advance of an incident or attack can help better prepare our institutions and and their employees to proactively think about the role they play in the safety and security of their businesses and communities.

Download the document here and our library of resources here.

May 5779 be a year of peace and security; what you can do to help

Posted on August 09, 2018

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

Topical guidance

Vulnerability, Risk and Safety Assessments and Planning

New DHS action guides for soft targets and crowded places

Posted on June 21, 2018

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently posted new resources for soft targets (virtually all nonprofits are considered soft targets) and crowded places. These are clear and concise (two page) action guides:

All of these guides offer excellent suggestions and can be used for training purposes. We urge you to take a look and to put them to good use.

Update: Suspicious Package Indicators and Recommended Response Procedures

Posted on March 28, 2018

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.

    Click on the image to download a copy of this poster.

  • 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.

Response Procedures
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.

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.