A Message to the Community of Faith, from the DHS Assistant Director of Infrastructure Security

On These Trying Times for the Nation

“The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has temporarily altered our daily activities. People are rightly practicing social distancing to limit community spread, in line with the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America. Many houses of worship have also suspended or significantly reduced services to avoid mass gatherings. Although many people undoubtedly continue to practice their faith, including through remote services and prayer, most are inevitably eager to return to normalcy and join their fellow congregants in practicing their faiths. The American people are resilient, and we will achieve this goal soon.”

The above is an excerpt from a letter written by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Assistant Director of Infrastructure Security, Mr. Brian Harrell.

In addition to the letter, CISA wanted to make sure FB-ISAO members are familiar with a valuable resource page, CISA’s Hometown Security can be found here: https://www.cisa.gov/hometown-security. From the webpage “These tools and resources are offered free to communities because the Department recognizes that communities are the first line of defense in keeping the public safe and secure.” Brian Harrell continues with “As I mentioned in my February 2019 letter to the Faith-Based Community, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is committed to supporting your efforts to maintain safe and secure houses of worship and related facilities while sustaining an open and welcoming environment. In partnership with entities such as the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives and the Faith-Based Information Sharing and Analysis Organization, we provide resources that assist in securing physical and cyber infrastructure.”

Assistant Director Brian Harrell

“In partnership with entities such as the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives and the Faith-Based Information Sharing and Analysis Organization, we provide resources that assist in securing physical and cyber infrastructure.”

“Thank you again for everything you do to champion the American people’s Constitutional First Amendment rights, as well as your leadership in keeping our houses of worship safe and secure. You have a committed partner in DHS who is steadfast in ensuring you have the resources to enhance your security programs.”  – Assistant Director Harrell

Through relationships with leaders and organizations, such as Assistant Director Harrell and CISA, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, state and local fusion centers, and other public sector partners, we will continue to grow our private-public collaboration, and the continued awareness, preparedness, security, and resilience of the American community of faith. Please read the entirety of Assistant Director Harrell’s letter, above, and thank you for your commitment to building a stronger, more prepared nation.