Harkins, Merski: Erie nonprofits awarded more than $80K to bolster security

ERIE, Dec. 15 – Three Erie organizations were awarded combined grant funding of $81,750 to strengthen security, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today.

The lawmakers said the funding includes $42,500 to the Multicultural Community Resource Center, $24,250 to Our Mother of Sorrows Roman Catholic Parish and $15,000 to the Islamic Cultural Center of Erie.

“No resident should ever have to feel afraid where they live, work, worship or gather for any other reason,” Harkins said. “The resources funded by these grants will keep members and visitors of these organizations safer while also giving them greater peace of mind.”

Merski said, “Although we would prefer to believe every organization naturally enjoys a safe and secure place in our community, the reality is that some have felt the need for enhanced security. The new funding will meet that need by funding security equipment, upgrades and any related resources the organizations feel they need.”

The lawmakers said the funding may be used for a variety of security measures, including:

  • safety and security planning and training, and threat-awareness and response training.
  • equipment and technology such as metal detectors, protective lighting, surveillance equipment, emergency communications equipment, electronic locksets, deadbolts, trauma kits and theft-control devices.
  • upgrades to existing structures that enhance safety and security.
  • vulnerability and threat assessments.
  • specialty-trained canines.
  • any other related project that enhances safety or security of the nonprofit organization.

The new funding – administered by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency under the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund – is in addition to more than $7.5 million in PCCD funding announced yesterday to bolster law enforcement and enhance victims’ services.

The Nonprofit Security Grant Fund provides funding to nonprofits that principally serve people, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single-bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics publication. The categories include race/ethnicity/ancestry, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender and gender identity.

More about the funding is available here: