Many school leaders have reached out to us expressing an emergency need for security guards to protect your children and congregants during these very difficult times. We are working on several practical advocacy initiatives that would help access resources for guards. Concurrent with these advocacy efforts, here are some practical steps you should immediately take that can improve your security situation:
- Reach out to your local police precinct, and at the very least, arrange for them to visit your institution as often as possible during the day, especially during high volume times. While this isn’t full coverage, it is a deterrent to hostile actors and fosters an environment of vigilance.
- Enforce basic security protocols, especially keeping your access points closed during all activities, without exception. If you have multiple access points, lock all non-essential ones and rely on one or two main doors.
- Review all your security patrols and emphasize the need for all staff and congregants to remain vigilant, and obviously practice the “See something, say something” rule, even if the issue seems minor. No issue is too small to report, if it makes you feel uneasy.
- Make sure your existing security equipment, such as cameras, locks, and alarms are working properly.
- Consistently review your institution’s email inboxes and social media accounts and report any threatening communications to law enforcement and your local security partners.
- Consider various sources of philanthropic and government sources of funding as you plan for what may be a prolonged period of elevated risk. We are here to help you consider different ideas and options.
Remember that Federal, State, and Local law enforcement are well-equipped to deal with terrorism and are in a heightened state of mobilization, monitoring all levels of threats constantly. So far, no specific threats have been identified and law enforcement and community partners have stressed that all our institutions should conduct our normal activities and not give in to the fear that terrorists and their sympathizers sew constantly on multiple levels.
We are proud to partner with the Community Security Initiative and their network of highly experienced, regional field directors. To connect to your regional field director, please visit their website: https://csiny.org/.
Our staff are constantly meeting with schools and shuls to help them brainstorm about security. Feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can. We are all working to bring an immediate improvement to the situation and are also hoping and praying for better days ahead.