Beginning in 2016 when there was a significant spike in crime across the community, Agudath Israel’s Mid-Atlantic regional director, Rabbi Ariel Sadwin notified the office of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan about the unfolding situation and maintained contact with top staff members in the Governor’s administration throughout the ensuing months. Rabbi Sadwin then began to work with the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) to explore funding opportunities to support some of the critical security needs in the community.
Working first with then-GOCCP executive director Chris Shank and with current executive director Glenn Fueston, the Maryland Safe Streets Program was identified as a means to provide grants for the purchase of security related materials and equipment. A portion of the grant went to provide new safety equipment and office equipment upgrades to the two organizations focused on providing safety and security related services in Baltimore – the Northwest Citizens Patrol (NWCP) and Shomrim Safety Patrol. The second portion of the grant went to fund the purchase and installation of new surveillance systems for several area synagogues that were in need of security enhancements.
Now that the first phase is completed, Rabbi Sadwin and GOCCP will be discussing the next phase which will seek additional resources to continue to bolster the safety and security of the Jewish community.