Category Archive: Nonprofit Security

New concerns from ISIS-inspired lone wolves

According to some analysts, the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has the potential for violent reactions by United States-based homegrown violent extremists (HVEs). While there is no specific threat to the Jewish community or to the New York area, JCRC-NY recommends that Jewish institutions maintain heightened vigilance.

In a recent op-ed in the NY Daily News (Why ISIS remains far from finished: A warning from two leading counterterrorism officials), Ray Kelly and Mitch Silber observed, “The ISIS threat to the U.S. early on was mainly based on its ability, through cutting-edge use of social media, to radicalize and mobilize Americans to either want to join ISIS as a foreign fighter (with the latent threat to return to attack the U.S.) or to plot attacks at home on their own.”

This is a good time to review your facility’s security protocols to ensure that they reflect the current need for heightened vigilance. We suggest that you download JCCA’s Security Readiness:A Framework for Security at Jewish Community Centers (JCCs), YM and YWHAs, and Camps. The publication is a valuable tool for all kinds of organizations and the chapter on a “Security Escalation Plan” on pp. 42ff. features six indicators that should cause you to consider escalating security and the included checklist is a helpful template to build an effective response.

Keep safe.

DHS Active Shooter Training | Nov 15

DHS CISA Region-II Training & Exercise Coordinator, cordially invites you to participate in a one-day active shooter security workshop. Be advised Registration closes 11/13/2019 at 12:00 pm. Link is provided on the flyer and here    https://www.govevents.com/details/31696/dhs-active-shooter-preparedness-workshop--new-york-ny/

November 15th, 2019 (8:30am – 4:00pm)
Pace University, New York City Campus
One Pace Plaza (Student Center West)
New York, NY 10038

Preparing all of your constituencies for a potential active shooter incident is an integral component of an organization’s incident response planning. Because active shooter incidents are unpredictable and evolve quickly, preparing for and knowing what to do in an active shooter situation can be the difference between life and death. Every second counts.

A Unique Training Opportunity

Pace University and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, are hosting a one-day security workshop to enhance awareness of, and response to, an active shooter event:

  • Educating participants on the history of active shooter events.
  • Describing common behavior, conditions, and situations associated with active shooters.
  • Fostering communication between critical infrastructure owners and operators and local emergency response teams.  This course includes discussions of interoperability, communications protocols, and best practices for planning, preparedness, and response.

Who Should Participate?

This event is open to:

  • Organization and corporate and facility security professionals and leaders from the private and public sectors
  • Supervisory first responders
  • Human resource managers
  • Community response officials
  • Homeland security representatives

Registration

  • Registration for this event is free; please click here to register.
  • Registration closes 11/13/2019 at 12:00 pm (EDT).

Please see attached flyer and invitation for more details on this workshop.  We appreciate your engagement in this process; your participation will enhance and contribute significantly to building your organization’s incident response plans.  Should you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Very Respectfully,

Stephen Allyn

Region-II Training & Exercise Coordinator (RTEC)
Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
Northeast & Caribbean NY~NJ~PR~USVI
Cell: (917) 710-4764 Stephen.Allyn@hq.dhs.gov
Operation Desert Storm – Iraqi Freedom – Enduring Freedom

New DHS resource guide and mail screening poster

Posted on June 04, 2019

New resource guide. Take a look at DHS’ new resource guide, Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places. It’s essentially a one-stop table of contents for DHS’s free materials, including links for help on identifying suspicious activity, access control and screening, active assailants (they’re not just shooters anymore) and bomb threats. Follow the supplied links for an introduction to facility security that can serve as a good first step for houses of worship, schools and other soft targets. Resources include fact sheets, guidance, and online training and education courses.


Mail screening poster. Thanks to the world’s leading geopolitical intelligence platform, Stratfor, for its timely reminder about mail and package screening after an attempted bombing.

  • While many questions remain in the case of a parcel bomb sent to a Mexican senator, the largest is why the mail of such a high-level official was not screened.
  • While politicians and large corporations clearly must take significant measures to screen their mail, even ordinary people (and Jewish organizations) should open their mail cautiously.
  • Simple steps can help everyone from the largest entities to the average citizen.

Note that Cesar Sayoc, 57, admitted in court to having mailed 16 explosive devices to a variety of officials and to CNN’s offices in October 2018. He allegedly said he would “eradicate the Jews” if he had the power to, along with lesbians, black people and Hispanic people.

We urge you to download the tips found on the Stratfor graphic and share it with your staff and others.

NSGP: More on contracted security guards

Posted on April 25, 2019

Updated April 25, 2019| U.S. DHS posted its Fiscal Year 2019 Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). We are reviewing the materials and have identified two key changes:

  • Grant amount. The maximum award this year will be $100,000.
  • Stacking the deck for new applicants. This year 10 bonus points will be added to the scores of organizations that never received NSGP funding. This effectively gives a serious advantage to newbies.
  • Security guards. Hiring of contracted security personnel is now allowed under this program (see the FEMA update here).
    • Note: Recipients of NSGP funding may use the grant to pay for contracted security personnel over the entire three year period of the grant. However, grantees should not assume that they will be successful applicants (you might not win a grant or this program may not exist in coming years) so you must be able to sustain this capability in future years without NSGP funding.
    • NSGP funds may not be used to purchase equipment for security guards. These costs should be classified as organization costs.
    • Subrecipients (grantees) may not use NSGP funding to hire full or part-time employees that will be placed on a nonprofit’s payroll.
    • Rob Goldberg of JFNA reports after speaking with FEMA, that the blanket waiver WILL be in place and interested subrecipients may now request up to 100% of their total award towards the cost of contacted security personnel.
    • JCRC comment: Make a case for security guards through an identified vulnerability included in your assessment (e.g., failure to review or monitor CCTV recordings for possible instances of hostile surveillance, inadequate access control measures, and or the lack of security guards during all hours of operation) and add “Contracted security guards” as an “Item to be purchased”  in IV.  Target Hardening (Note: there is no AEL number for Contracted security guards).

A case can readily be made for additional contracted security guards, additional hours or an upgrading replacement (e.g., unarmed to armed) of the existing guards.

Finally, we think that it is appropriate to remind you that security guards are no panacea. Security planning should entail a well-considered mix of personnel, plans, procedures, training, drills and exercises and security hardware. The judges tend to look at your assessments to see if you are addressing the most important vulnerabilities.

  • Investment Justification. At first glance we don’t see any changes in the 2019 Investment Justification. Download it here.
  • Timing. We estimate that the submission deadline for NY organizations be  mid-May. We will be producing and posting our tutorial material this week, but will schedule a webinar — with an opportunity for questions –after Pesach.

The New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NY DHSES) posted its New York-specific Request for Applications here. Check their site and ours for updates.

The guidelines and the paperwork seems to closely track the FY 2018 guidelines  (with the exception of security guards), so if you have been drafting your applications based our existing help you will be in very good shape.

Nonprofit Security Grants: Updated

Posted on April 10, 2019

Updated April 16, 2019| The New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NY DHSES) will have the New York-specific Request for Applications posted at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/nsgp.cfm by the end of the day. Check back at www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants often to see our updates. Remember: all NY applicants are subject to the requirements, deadlines, etc. as set forth by NY DHSES. Note that there will be no information on the NY DHSES website (or in E-Grants) until they have the Request for Applications prepared. 

Key changes:

  • Grant amount. The maximum award this year will be $100,000.
  • Stacking the deck for new applicants. This year 10 bonus points will be added to the scores of organizations that never received NSGP funding. This effectively gives a serious advantage to newbies.
  • Security guards. The NSGP guidance now allows that the costs to hire a private security firm or off-duty law enforcement officers to provide security services to the facility or organization is permissible, as is the training of said security personnel (but not equipment of contracted security personnel). The recipient must be able to sustain this capability in future years without NSGP funding. Rob Goldberg (from the JFNA Washington Office and the key lobbyist for the NSGP) spoke with his FEMA contacts and reports that, “It means because the program is competitive, there is no guarantee of future years funding so the recipient may have to fund the project if they are unsuccessful in subsequent years. The language is an admonition, but it does not mean that an applicant must show, describe or otherwise prove that it has funding in future years to sustain security personnel.”
  • Investment Justification. At first glance we don’t see any changes in the basic questions on the 2019 Investment Justification. If you followed our advice and practices on the 2018 version, make sure that you submit the 2019 one. Download it here.
  • Timing. The deadline for NY DHSES submissions will be May 8th. We will be producing and posting our tutorial material this week, but will schedule a webinar — with an opportunity for questions –after Pesach.

The New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NY DHSES) will soon post its New York-specific Request for Applications (it will be posted here). Check back often to see our updates. Remember: all NY applicants are subject to the requirements, deadlines, etc. as set forth by NY DHSES. Note that there will be no information on the NY DHSES website (or in E-Grants) until they have the Request for Applications prepared. 

No news yet on NY Hate Crimes grants

Please be advised that the NY DHSES is still processing the submissions from the December Securing Communities against Hate Crimes (SCAHC). We advise you to prepare two lists of priorities for your Investment Justification: 1) assuming that you receive the SCAHC grant; and 2) if you do not. NY DHSES is making every effort to let the December applicants know ASAP.

Getting ready for the grant
All organizations planning to submit for a grant this year should get started now, because the actual application may not be available until the last minute. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Get an assessment. If you don’t already have one, or have scheduled one, do so immediately. Since November, JCRC-NY, through a generous grant from UJA-Federation and the Paul E. Singer Foundation, has arranged for scores of professional security assessments for Jewish organizations. These assessments cover most of what is required on the federal Investment Justification (the major component of the application). By implementing the recommendations from the report, you should go a long way towards making your facility safer. Applications accompanied by self-assessments will be accepted. For more guidance click to: https://www.jcrcny.org/security-assessment/.
  2. Prequalify. Your Nonprofit Security Grant Program will not be accepted unless your organization is “Prequalified.” See more information at: https://www.jcrcny.org/document-vault-faqs/. If you submitted for a grant last year you are prequalified, but you may have to update some documents.
  3. E-Grants. NY grants must be submitted through the E-Grants system. Previous applicants already have an account. Otherwise, click here to apply for an account. N.B. JCRC-NY cannot answer questions about your E-Grants submissions. Contact DHSES at 1-866-837-9133 or Grant.Info@dhses.ny.gov.
  4. Investment Justification. This is the key component of the application. We don’t expect significant changes this year. Download the 2018 template here and answer all of the questions to the best of your ability now, so that you will be able to adapt your answers (if necessary) and cut and paste them into the 2019 Investment Justification, even if the application window is very brief.
  5. Help with the vulnerability and facility hardening sections. See our document, Tying together the risk and target hardening language. Select and build on our language to complete the most challenging sections of the Investment Justification.
  6. More help. Click here for the multi-year FAQ‘s on the NSGP distributed by FEMA. There are some interesting details in the FAQ’s.

    Get a head start on the application by reviewing the FY 2018 NSGP Investment Justification (IJ) questions and preparing your answers. Download a copy at: Investment Justification2018, JCRC-NY’s 2018 Tutorial (PDF of PowerPoint), JCRC-NY’s Tying together the risk and target hardening language and JFNA’s Threat Chronology.

    See our 2018 Tutorial (PDF of PowerPoint), Tying together the risk and target hardening language and JFNA’s Threat Chronology.