Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced that nonprofits and community-based organizations in New York will receive $51 million in state grants to strengthen their safety and security measures against the risk of hate crimes or attacks, and that for the first time that includes funding for cybersecurity enhancements.
The grants are the largest sum ever made available through the State’s Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grants program, according to a news release. In total, 497 organizations will receive funding to be spread across 1,081 security enhancement projects, including 187 cybersecurity projects. The state allocated nearly $9 million for cybersecurity enhancements.
The 2017 grant program was created for civic centers, cultural museums, day care centers and other nonprofit, community-based organizations that may be vulnerable because of their ideology, beliefs or mission. The funding can be used to support exterior or interior security improvements, security training and now cybersecurity enhancements.
Hate crimes are on the rise, according to the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services. New York police departments and sheriffs’ offices reported 947 hate crimes in 2022, the most in the past five years and a 20% increase since 2021.
“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 release. “This is a historic investment in the communities that need our help the most, and with these funds, New York’s most at-risk organizations will be able to invest in the security measures they need to stay safe. 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.”
The state’s fiscal year 2024 budget provides an additional $25 million for Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grants, and applications are expected to be made available in December.