What makes a community secure? A well-trained police department, dedicated state and federal agencies, and vigilant citizens in neighborhoods can go a long way toward keeping us safe. But Jewish Community Partners (JCP), in collaboration with the Secure Community Network (SCN), recently took a bold step up in the collective security efforts of the Memphis Jewish community.

JCP and SCN, the official homeland security initiative of the organized North American Jewish community, launched a Regional Security Director (RSD) program with the hiring of Memphis resident, Stuart Frisch.

Stuart is a law enforcement veteran with more than 20 years of experience in planning, developing and implementing security programs across the military, corporate, and government sectors. His impressive resume includes stints as a soldier with the Israel Defense Forces, an officer with the Memphis Police Department, and a security professional for the Office of Homeland Security. Most recently, Stuart served as Coordinator of Security Operations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he was responsible for creating security policy for a workforce of more than 5000 across 17 countries.

“Security is a top priority for our Jewish community, and we were ready to take our efforts to the next level,” said Laura Linder, President and CEO of Jewish Community Partners. “Partnering with SCN to create this role took us to that next level, and Stuart is the perfect fit to ensure it gets done right.”

Modeled after a successful U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program, this innovative approach is the first of its kind for a faith-based community. The three-year pilot RSD program came after months of collaboration between JCP and SCN, identifying areas of mutual concern, as well as opportunity.

Stuart will have access to the latest information through SCN from national-level partners, including the FBI and DHS, on threats to the Jewish community, as well as a direct connection to best practice resources.

“As the law enforcement defender of civil rights in the U.S., the FBI collaborates with state and local law enforcement to investigate many types of hate crimes, but it is the relationships with the community that will best allow the FBI to find and bring to justice those who seek to tear us apart,” said Regional FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Gavin. “Our greatest weapon against these threats is unity. Unity is built on information sharing and coordination among our partners in the law enforcement and the intelligence communities, like Mr. Frisch. It is built on partnerships with the private sector and effective outreach to the public as our eyes and ears. It is built on the idea that, together, we are smarter and stronger than we are standing alone.”

Stuart will serve as a point person for security issues; monitoring, coordinating, and sharing information regarding the community, like public safety issues and terrorism; regular visits to Jewish organizations to assess security needs and make recommendations; designing, developing, and providing security training and education; maintaining effective partnerships with law enforcement and emergency management agencies; and coordinating security for events.

Initiating the partnership, SCN National Director and CEO Michael Masters and Frisch met with local law enforcement leadership including representatives of the Memphis Police Department, Emergency Management Agency of Shelby County, the United States Secret Service, and the FBI, among others.

With the launch of the RSD initiative and the hiring of Stuart Frisch, the Memphis community and its neighbors across the Southeast gain a tremendous local resource, while also joining a national network of security directors, safety experts, and dedicated professionals devoted to the well-being of the North American Jewish community.