The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released new resources to help houses of worship and other faith-based organizations enhance their physical security.
The Physical Security Performance Goals—modeled after previous Cybersecurity Performance Goals—are in response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and a heightened threat environment, in general. These new resources build on a longstanding partnership between faith-based organizations, the DHS, and its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Because houses of worship are the center for regular faith-based services and gatherings across the country, they are vulnerable as potential targets for malicious actors.
“In this continued heightened threat environment, the Department of Homeland Security is committed to protecting every American’s right to live, express, and worship their faith freely and in safety,” said Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
He added that the physical security goals “provide churches, synagogues, mosques, and other faith-based institutions with cost-effective, accessible, and readily implementable strategies to enhance their security and reduce the risk to their communities. I strongly urge all faith-based institutions to take advantage of this new resource and incorporate the security practices it outlines.”
The Physical Security Performance Goals are available here.