HCPO hosting security program for houses of worship

The Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, in coordination with the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, hosts a Houses of Worship Security Program Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023, intended to provide faith leaders with security resources to keep their communities safe.

The event takes place at the Hudson County Schools of Technology, 1 High Tech Way in Secaucus, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

Speakers will include Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez, NJOHSP Division Director Thomas Hauck, Randy Parkes of the NJOHSP Training & Exercise Bureau, Ehtasham Chaudhry of the NJOHSP Operations Bureau, FEMA Faith-Based Coordinator Race Hodges and DHS Protective Security Advisor Dan Schultz.

Topics to be discussed include active-shooter response training, new state legislative emergency planning requirements for houses of worship and other essential resources available to faith-based organizations.

“As one of the most diverse communities in the country, Hudson County is a melting pot of all races, ethnicities and religions,” Suarez said. “Houses of worship should be safe spaces for individuals to freely practice their religion, without any concern for their safety. We, along with our state and federal partners, are committed to working with all faith leaders to ensure they have access to resources to keep their congregations safe and prepared in the event of an emergency.”

“The Houses of Worship Security Program is one of many NJOHSP initiatives aimed at ensuring that New Jersey is a safe place to worship,” NJOHSP Director Laurie Doran said. “It’s a collaborative effort coordinated with our federal, state, county and local partners all to provide faith-based communities with essential information, resources and contacts.”

All Hudson County religious leaders, security coordinators and congregations of all faiths and denominations are invited to attend.

Participants may RSVP online here.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.