Protecting potential targets: State gives security grants to suburban synagogues, mosques and women's clinics

Numerous suburban groups are among the 116 recipients of a state grant aimed at helping nonprofit organizations enhance protections against security threats.

Recipients of the $20 million provided by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency's Nonprofit Security Grant Program include places of worship, providers of reproductive health care, cultural institutions and education centers — groups considered to be at higher risk of terrorist attacks, according to state officials.

“As governor, my top priority has always been — and will continue to be — keeping Illinoisans safe,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in an announcement of the grants Thursday. “This $20 million investment will provide grantees — from mosques and synagogues to education centers and cultural institutions — the resources they need to enhance safety measures amidst the rising tide of extremism.”

The largest grant in the Northwest suburbs was $410,000 for the Midwest Islamic Center in unincorporated Schaumburg Township, between Schaumburg and Hanover Park.

“I think there's concern by their community and we have to support those concerns,” Hanover Park Mayor Rod Craig said. “I'm happy for them. The leadership over there is marvelous. I'm glad they're on our border. The world is shrinking. The world has to be safe for everyone.”

Among the other large grant recipients are Darul Qasim in Glendale Heights ($300,000); Islamic Center of Naperville ($256,346); Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Glenview ($150,000); Illinois Sikh Community Center in Wheaton ($150,000); Congregation Beth Shalom in Northbrook ($150,000); and Turkish American Society Inc. in Mount Prospect ($150,000).

The funding must be used for target-hardening activities, such as training to respond to an active shooter, buying and installing security equipment and hiring security personnel. The projects must be completed during a three-year performance period.

“Security equipment, facility hardening, and other operational actions are just some ways these groups are increasing safety measures for their organizations,” Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau said in a statement.

As the grants are implemented, the agency's Office of Homeland Security will continue to identify expanding threats and work with the recipients in monitoring their enhancements and documenting successes, officials said.

Who's getting security grants

The state is awarding nonprofit organizations $20 million in grants to enhance security. Here's a look at the suburban groups that are benefiting:

• Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Glenview, $150,000.

• Congregation Beth Shalom, Northbrook, $150,000.

• Darchei Noam of Glenbrook, Northbrook, $150,000.

• Darul Qasim, Glendale Heights, $300,000.

• Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church, Elmhurst, $95,665.

• Family Health Partnership, Crystal Lake, $52,500.

• Glenview Methodist Preschool, Glenview, $117,800.

• Islamic Circle of North Chicago, Oakbrook Terrace, $67,410.

• Illinois Sikh Community Center, Wheaton, $150,000.

• Islamic Center of Naperville, Naperville, $256,346.

• Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago, Northbrook, $135,000.

• Islamic Society Northwest Suburbs of Chicago, Rolling Meadows, $148,000.

• JCFS Elaine Kersten Children's Center, Northbrook, $150,000.

• Jewish Council for Youth Services, Buffalo Grove, $98,070.

• Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation, Deerfield, $91,313.

• L'Chaim Center of the North Shore, Deerfield, $150,000.

• Midwest Islamic Center, Hanover Park, $410,000.

• Rahmah Foundation Inc., Lake Villa, $150,000.

• Solomon Schechter Day School, Northbrook, $150,000.

• Synagogue Security Council of North America Inc., Northbrook, $150,000.

• The Evangelical Free Church of Crystal Lake, Crystal Lake, $44,000.

• Turkish American Society Inc, Mount Prospect, $150,000.

• Waterleaf Women's Center, Aurora, $141,750.

Source: Office of the Governor

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