Philadelphia – March 11, 2020 − Senator John P. Sabatina, Jr. (D-Philadelphia) announced the amount of $235,340 in grant funds were awarded for several local nonprofit organizations to improve safety and security measures to prevent hate crimes.

“Since the tragic events that took place at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, our General Assembly has sought ways to improve the safety of worshipers,” Sabatina said. “These sorely needed security upgrades are now possible because this program.”

The funding is provided for many aspects of safety, security planning, and training. These include; the purchase of safety and security equipment, metal detectors, protective lighting, surveillance equipment, Special emergency communications equipment, electronic locksets and/or Deadbolts, threat awareness and response training, vulnerability and threat assessments, specialty-trained canines, or any other safety or security-related project that enhances safety or security of the non-profit organization.

“We must do everything we can to fight against hate, so that communities can gather together and worship in peace,” Sabatina said.

Senator Sabatina highlighted the following local recipients of the grant award:

  • Congregation Beth Emanuel
  • True Vine Church Community of the Christian and Missionary Alliance
  • Federation Housing, Inc.
  • Shaare Shamayim Beth Judah
  • Congregation Beth Solomon, Inc.
  • Congregation Ahavas Torah Rhawnhurst Torah Center
  • Congregation Beth Harambam
  • The Muslim Society of Delaware Valley

The funding for these awards comes from Act 83 of 2019, which established a new program at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). Act 83 directs PCCD to administer grants to Pennsylvania-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations who principally serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s 2017 Hate Crime Statistics publication. The categories include race/ethnicity/ancestry; religion; sexual orientation; disability; gender; and gender identity.

Applicants were eligible for security enhancements designed to protect the safety and security of the users of a facility located in the Commonwealth that is owned or operated by the nonprofit organization.

The program was conceived by Senate Democratic Caucus members in their Senate Bill 676 – which was signed into law as Act 83 of 2019.

In January of this year, PCCD released a $5 million solicitation for the grant program. 805 total applications requesting approximately $27 million were submitted