ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to provide more money to Jewish institutions that have received bomb threats this year.
“We are at a place where we've never been before in our country and in our county. Hate that's been unleashed has been really quite extraordinary and quite troubling, profoundly disturbing,” said Roger Berliner, Montgomery County Council President, speaking about the need to protect Jewish schools and centers in the county.
The council members each spoke passionately about why these funds are needed. It was a request put in by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett for $225,000 to fund increased security measures in several Jewish schools and centers in the county after receiving bomb threats.
The improvements would include bulletproof glass, installation of security cameras and improved locks on doors.
Council members noted that the security needs of all faiths were important to them and requests for funding and support would be considered.
While these are private facilities, the explanation of why taxpayer funds are being used to improve safety at these private religious locations was that county police officers are used to respond to these incidents. By proactively attempting to prevent future threats and crime, they would reduce the need for county police response in the future.
In light of the alleged rape at Rockville High School, security measures are being considered for public schools in Montgomery County as well.
“Those things are actually coming and so we're waiting for the proposal from Dr. Smith and we'll be providing a supplemental for that. They're just honing those together. Actually, I have a meeting with Doctor Smith tomorrow to talk about some of those details about some of the enhancements that will be recommended for all of our schools,” explained Councilman Craig Rice, with the Montgomery County Council. “We want to make sure every place that we have the responsibility of keeping the safety that we have that addressed in all of our schools for all of our kids.”