Ninety-one religious facilities and nonprofits in Montgomery County will receive $800,000 to address security needs as officials say hate/bias incidents persist.
The money will go to facilities that have experienced or are at high risk of experiencing hate crimes and will go toward security personnel, planning, training and cameras.
Last week, police said a suspect made antisemitic statements, assaulted a man and robbed him at a Giant grocery store in Gaithersburg. Also this month, leaders said families in Kensington woke up to antisemitic flyers on their doorsteps which targeted several Jewish families. And, swastikas were drawn on student desks in three separate schools. And three times in the span of about one month as of December, the Bethesda area was the scene of antisemitic vandalism.
“These are things we have to do, we don’t have a choice at this point,” County Executive Marc Elrich said during a press conference announcing the grant money on Monday.
“This has gotten way out of control. This is not the kind of community we would want to be in, and we don’t want people to think that we’re going to sit back and just absorb it and go about our business,” Elrich said.
The funds come from the county’s Nonprofit Security Grants program, according to the county. The council approved the funding last May.
The grant is in its second year.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, the county’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security will hold a “Securing Houses of Worship” training for religious facilities. Registration is required.