State Reps. Schweyer, Schlossberg and Siegel applaud community safety grants

HARRISBURG, Dec. 14 – State Reps. Peter Schweyer, Mike Schlossberg and Josh Siegel announced today a total of $718,149 awarded for the city of Allentown to staff and fund police departments and for increased security for multiple organizations in their districts.

“The safety and well-being of a legislator’s community should be their top priority,” said Schweyer. “The Commonwealth is a place for everyone, a place for everyone to be accepted. Additionally, many communities and organizations face challenges when recruiting new law enforcement officers and keeping those officers. I am proud that along with keeping Lehigh County safer, this funding also provides more funding to law enforcement that will go toward incentivization for acquiring new law enforcement officers.”

“Unfortunately, hate crimes and hate in general is far too common,” said Siegel. “In order to defend against hateful attacks both physical and verbal, this funding will be used to provide the support needed for these communities, so they are well-equipped to deal with any hate that comes their way, not only in the purchasing of new technology, but also keeping the police departments in the community well-staffed. I am always thrilled to see these grants get awarded as a safer and happier community is important to me as a state legislator and a servant to my community.”

“I am both a firm supporter of safer communities, including my own, and the police departments who work day and night to protect those in our communities,” said Schlossberg. “It is great that this newly acquired funding works to do both. Hate crimes overall increased in the U.S. last year and experienced a sharp increase in 2021, which was more than any other year since tracking of incidents began in 1997. It is imperative that we as legislators and members of the community do what we can to decrease this from happening and provide these organizations and police departments the resources they need to keep those in the community that are at risk of hateful attacks safe.”

The organizations receiving funding are:

  • Jewish Day School of the Lehigh Valley - $150,000
  • Allentown Central Catholic High School - $100,000
  • Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center - $100,000
  • Jewish Community Center of Allentown, Pennsylvania - $75,000
  • Asbury United Methodist Church - $33,348
  • Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley - $25,000
  • Jewish Student Center – Allentown Inc. - $24,116
  • Congregation Sons of Israel - $10,685

The city of Allentown also received $200,000 in state funding to ensure well-staffed and well-funded police departments.

These grants come from the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which funds nonprofit organizations – including faith-based institutions (e.g., churches, synagogues, mosques), community centers and other organizations/ facilities – that principally serve individuals 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 next batch of applications is being accepted until Dec. 18, 2023. Applicants wanting to learn more and apply can find more information on funding requirements by visiting the PCCD website.