Our regional security initiative: Year one

For just over a year, I have had the honor of serving as the first Jewish community Regional Security Advisor for South & Western Connecticut.

Across America, we are witnessing alarming increases in mass attacks and crimes targeting our Jewish communities. The threats facing us are very real, and Jewish communities in southern and western Connecticut are not immune, but there is much we can do to help protect each other. That’s why it is imperative that we continue to work together to identify threats, make our Jewish community facilities harder to target, and prepare for and train to survive a potential active threat.

In the Regional Security Advisor role, I administer a security program that provides consultations, organizational threat assessments, training and drills, and incident management to our Jewish community organizations, including schools, daycare centers, synagogues, and camps. I serve as a conduit between area Jewish community organizations, law enforcement, and the Secure Community Network’s 24-hour National Jewish Security Operations Command Center.

To reduce the risk of violence and terrorism to our communities, I have been working closely with local law enforcement, as well as federal and state partners, to ensure that we are collaborating and sharing threat information.

During the first full year of the regional security program, I conducted 43 formal facility security assessments and trained approximately 3,000 people in core security topics including Situational Awareness, Countering Active Threats, Stop the Bleed®, and Camp Security. I provided guidance to approximately 30 community agencies regarding the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, helping them receive nearly $3 million in federal grants to improve security infrastructure.

I have formed and convened regional security working groups comprised of community members who meet to discuss security topics and share concerns and best practices. In addition, we have built a one-stop online Jewish community security resource website at securejewishct.org.

It continues to be my pleasure to serve as the region’s first Jewish community Regional Security Advisor, and I look forward to working with each of you to make our community as safe and secure as it can be. I may be reached at mshanbrom@securecommunitynetwork.org.

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