New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced more than $51 million in grants to strengthen safety and security measures at nonprofit, community-based organizations at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or mission.
It’s the largest amount of funding ever available through the State’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grants. For the first time ever, the funds may also be used to enhance an organization’s cybersecurity.
In addition to announcing the record level of funding, Governor Hochul signed legislation (S.2060-A/A.3694-A) that will strengthen investigation and reporting requirements for hate crimes incidents occurring on college campuses.
“Hate has absolutely no place in our state, and we will continue to do whatever it takes to make sure every New Yorker is safe from baseless violence that stems from prejudice,” Hochul said.
“In the face of disgusting vitriol and violence, I want to be clear: we are not afraid. If you attack one of us, you attack us all — and no one wins a fight against New Yorkers.”
Governor Hochul announced the grants and signed the legislation at a ceremony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City, where she was joined by elected officials, community leaders and advocates.
Police departments and sheriffs’ offices reported 947 hate crimes to the State in 2022, the most reported in the past five years, and a 20 percent increase as compared to 2021. Hate crime data reported by police agencies to the State is available online.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, which administers the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program, awarded funding to 497 organizations statewide for 1,081 projects totaling $51,680,910, with $8,899,091 going toward 187 cybersecurity projects. Hochul announced the availability of this funding last fall.
The FY 2024 Enacted Budget provides an additional $25 million for Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grants.
The next round of grant funding is expected to be made available through a request for applications in December 2023.
Created in 2017, the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Grant Program provides funding to strengthen security measures and prevent hate crimes against nonprofit community and civic centers, cultural museums, day care centers, and other nonprofit organizations that may be vulnerable because of their ideology, beliefs, or mission.
The funding can be used to support exterior or interior security improvements, including but not limited to lighting, locks, alarms, panic buttons, fencing, barriers, access controls, shatter-resistant glass and blast-resistant film, public address systems, and for the first time, measures to strengthen cybersecurity. Funds can also cover costs associated with security training.
In May 2023, Governor Hochul convened the state’s inaugural Unity Summit, bringing together 500 representatives from community organizations, law enforcement, and faith groups for panel discussions and conversations about ways to work together to prevent hate.
Legislation S.2060-A/A.3694-A amends the education law to require a college’s advisory committee on campus security to review current policies and procedures for educating the campus community about bias related and hate crimes, reporting hate crimes, and assisting victims during hate crime investigations.
The legislation also updates the procedure for disseminating information on campus crime statistics, and specifically requires the reporting and posting of hate crime offenses.
The law also requires this information to be made available on the college’s website, no longer simply providing students information about how to access it within the campus catalogue, student handbook and viewbook.
From now on, colleges will also be required to adopt a plan providing for the investigation of hate crimes on campus and inform incoming students about hate crime prevention measures.
Under the new legislation, colleges that receive state funding will be required to “modernize” and enhance their disclosure of hate crimes that occur on campus.
To ensure students remain safe on college campuses in New York, the bill also requires colleges to investigate potential hates crimes and report them to law enforcement.
The bill strengthens existing reporting and information disclosure laws pertaining to identifying and addressing bias crimes on college campuses.