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LA mayor's office helping houses of worship apply for security grants

The Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles.
The Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles.
Photo by Robert Garcia via Flickr Creative Commons

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In the wake of a mass shooting at a New Zealand mosque, the L.A. mayor's office is hosting a series of workshops to help faith leaders apply for federal grants to boost security. 

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office is urging synagogues, mosques and churches to apply for nonprofit security grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It’s not a new program, but the city is highlighting it amid renewed concerns about public safety in places of worship.

Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Jeff Gorell said many don’t know the program exists or how exactly to apply.

"This money is fairly readily available, but it is a little bit daunting," Gorell said. "These organizations are not in the business of writing grants."

The typical grant is in the $20,000 to $100,000 range. Gorell said houses of worship use them to add things like security cameras or fencing to protect against the possibility of an active shooter.

"Things that may make their soft target a little harder," he said. "And unfortunately, and very sadly, this is a conversation that we have to have nowadays."

The mayor will host four workshops, which run through Wednesday. They’ll include presentations by LAPD and grant-writing assistance from the mayor’s team and FEMA representatives. 

All religious organizations are welcome to attend. RSVP here