SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his support for a $15 million grant to protect places of worship.
“We are united as a state condemning hate,” he said during a news conference in response to a deadly shooting at a synagogue over the weekend.
A gunman opened fire at the Chabad of Poway in San Diego Saturday killing one person and injuring several others.
Newsom’s announcement comes after the urgent request by the California Legislative Jewish Caucus for $15 million toward the Nonprofit Security Grant, which provided only $500,000 last year.
If $15 million is approved for the next fiscal year, it would be the largest Nonprofit Security Grant.
The money would go toward nonprofit organizations and schools to fund reinforced gates and doors, lighting, alarms and security guards among other security measures.
With the rise in hate crimes, the new norm has been hiring security at places of worship.
But the cost can be hefty, according to Sameena Usman, who is the Government Relations Coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Santa Clara.
“At my mosque they have hired numerous security guards, armed security guards,” Usman said. “From my understanding, the mosques and also the community members are funding security.”
At the Muslim Community Association, mosque leaders not only hire guards, but also hold active shooter training sessions.
“Know the exits, they started locking some of the doors,” said Moath Othman who is a member of the MCA. “The New Zealand shooting was definitely an eyeopener.”
“For the past few years we have been seeing an increase in hate crimes every single year,” said Usman. “We welcome that our elected officials are taking this seriously.”