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Governor Hochul Announces Nearly $16 Million to Improve Safety and Security of Organizations at Risk of Hate Crimes

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Apr 14, 2022 - 05:26 AM

Governor Kathy Hochul today at an anti-hate crime rally at Queens College announced nearly $16 million in grants to strengthen safety and security measures at buildings owned or operated by nonprofit organizations at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or missions. A total of 205 organizations received 327 grants, which are available through the state’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes program and administered by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services. The funding will allow synagogues, churches, religious schools, civic organizations, and other nonprofit organizations to secure their facilities and better protect individuals and families they serve. Additionally, the FY 2023 Enacted Budget directs $25 million towards grants and increases the reimbursement cap for victims of hate crimes by $2,000.

“New York State’s diversity is our strength, yet too many New Yorkers continue to live in fear and today we say enough is enough,” Governor Hochul said. “Hate, racism, and xenophobia have no place in our State, and this critical funding sends a clear message that New York stands united against individuals who seek to sow hatred and divide us.”

The FY 2023 State Budget directs $25 million for Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes (SCAHC) grants. Additionally benefits will be expanded for victims of hate crimes, who will now be able to obtain up to $2,500 in reimbursement – an increase of $2,000 from past years. Also, under public safety and criminal justice reforms passed in the Budget, all hate crimes that are not currently arrest-eligible will become arrest-eligible if the individual is eighteen or older.

Recipients of these grants have facilities in 28 counties in every region of the state. Organizations that had not previously received funding or those that had not received funding for a specific facility or facilities were eligible to apply for this funding. The maximum grant was $50,000 each for no more than three facilities, for a maximum award of $150,000. The funding may be used for interior or exterior security improvements, such as alarms, panic. buttons, fences, shatter-resistant glass and public address systems, among other items. Funds also may be used to cover costs associated with security training.

Including today’s announced grants, approximately $83.1 million in total funding has been awarded to more than 600 nonprofit organizations to support approximately 1,700 projects since the program’s creation in 2017.

As defined by state law, hate crimes target individuals, groups of individuals or property because of a perception or belief about race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, religion or other characteristics. While the total number of hate crime incidents reported to police statewide is a fraction of all reported crime, these crimes adversely affect entire communities, not just the intended individual or institution. New York State monitors these incidents to identify trends and measures that address or prevent an increase in attacks.

Preliminary, statewide data for 2021 show a significant increase in hate crime incidents: 778 in 2021 as compared to 497 in 2020. Jewish, Black, Asian and LGBT individuals and institutions were most commonly targeted and those incidents contributed to the statewide increase. The 778 hate crimes were the most reported during the 10-year period from 2012 through 2021. It was only the second time during that timeframe when total incidents exceed 700; there were 734 hate crimes reported in 2012.

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