New government funding could increase public safety at local churches

ROCKFORD  — Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced a new initiative that will increase public safety in churches and nonprofit organizations across the state.

The Nonprofit Grant Security Program will dispute $20 million in funding between 116 nonprofits in Illinois.

The funding is to upgrade or add additional security measures to their facilities.

According to Governor Prtizker, the organizations part of the program are considered to be at a high risk of a terrorist attack.

Bethesda Evangelical Covenant Church in Rockford qualifies for the program. In the fall a person attempted to set fire to the church, vandalizing the property.

Pastor Dan Hinz says, this is in part why the church sought out the funding in addition to keeping safety as a top priority.

“We want to think about it so other people don’t. I think the hard thing about security in the church is we want to welcome people in but, we do not want to think about keeping people away so there’s a balance there,” said Hinz.

Member of Bethesda, Calvin Parker agrees that the money could be put to good use by hiring safety personnel.

“A staff member who would be here just because I know people are volunteering right now that have families and would like to sit in church,” said Parker.

Other churches in Rockford that qualify for the program include Cross Point and City First Church.

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March 26, 2023 at 10:21PM

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