The Secure Community Network (SCN) has released a new guidebook about the use of private security at Jewish institutions and plans to hold a webinar in late April to discuss the findings.

The release of “Private Security: Window Dressing or Real Protection? A Roadmap for Securing Sacred Spaces,” comes just two weeks after a private security guard at the
Columbus Torah Academy in Ohio was arrested for making threats against the school.

“At a time of increased anti-Semitism and given the ongoing threat of targeted violence facing the Jewish community, this white paper provides a crucial resource to secure and protect our community members and organizations,” said SCN national director and CEO Michael Masters. “The report reflects the insights of top law enforcement and security professionals and will help guide Jewish organizations in developing their security plans.”

The report noted several instances of private guards at Jewish institutions behaving badly, including:

  • A private security officer at a large synagogue in Pennsylvania was terminated after smoking marijuana on the job.
  • A private security officer at a Jewish day school in Florida was caught wearing a wristband for the white-supremacist group Proud Boys.
  • A private security officer was found publishing anti-Semitic statements on social media while ostensibly keeping watch at a community event.

Brad Orsini, senior national security advisor at SCN who contributed to the report, said “because there is no one-size-fits-all security solution, the report instead provides structured questions that should be answered before implementing private security services.”

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