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Connecticut faith leaders welcome bond commission approval of $5M to protect houses of worship

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Connecticut’s bond commission approved spending $5 million to help houses of worship improve security on Thursday. Faith leaders welcomed the move.

“This $5 million would allow roughly 100 more synagogues, mosques and churches, to increase their security and give their congregations an added sense of safety when they go to worship,” said Michael Bloom, executive director of the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut.

“It’s unfortunate that houses of worship now need protection,” said Bishop William McKissick of the New Jerusalem Christian Center Church in Middletown. “It's just shameful that people today are hesitant to go to houses of worship, to send their children to school and to go to a grocery store and to do other kinds of things because of what has been transpiring around this country,” he said.

“We believe in the power of prayer. God also gave us a brain and expects us to use it and do everything we can to keep our kids safe in school and keep our worshipers safe in their houses of worship and that’s what the bond agenda reflected today,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

The fund would help non-profit religious organizations purchase bullet proof glass and metal detectors in response to the recent increase in mass shootings, he said.

The state created a similar fund to upgrade school security after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012.

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As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year. In addition to providing long-form reports and features for WSHU, he regularly contributes spot news to NPR, and has worked at the NPR National News Desk as part of NPR’s diversity initiative.

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