Meet the man in charge of community security

By Carl Zebrowski

You’ll probably meet Tim Brooks in person someday. He should strike you right away as focused and unflappable, someone you could depend on in a serious situation.

It might not surprise you, then, to find out he’s the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s new security advisor. The Federation has hired him as regional security advisor in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg and the Secure Community Center, the security organization for the national Jewish community.

In this newly created role, Brooks will work to keep the synagogues, agencies, camps and other Lehigh Valley Jewish community sites safe. He’ll being doing the same for Harrisburg.

“The first few weeks have been a literal whirlwind,” Brooks said of his time on the job since being hired this summer. He was on the road (and in the air) a lot, visiting Harrisburg and other places, learning best community security practices and making plans to implement them.

“My short-term priority is to complete threat vulnerabilities and risk assessments for all the brick-and-mortar facilities so they can apply for various financial assistance,” he said. “My specific goals are to engage with law enforcement in our facilities’ jurisdictions to ensure open communications. I also want to conduct training to as many organizations within the Federation community as possible. I want everyone to know what the best practices are.”

Brooks brings decades of military and police experience to his new role. He joined the U.S. Army at age 17 and became a member of the military police. He later spent 20 years with the Bethlehem Police Department. Meanwhile, he served with the Pennsylvania National Guard, giving him a total of 36 years with the military.

“Early in both careers, I was taught how to respond to various incidents,” he said. “As I got more experienced, I learned how to mitigate certain events and was able to empower citizens. I look to continue that here.”

Of course this is just the work part of his life. Once you talk with him, you start learning the other side. He loves to be outdoors, especially playing disc golf or riding his motorcycle. Outdoors for a concert is good too; he went to Musikfest this year to see the Goo Goo Dolls play at the Wind Creek Steel Stage.

So what brought Tim Brooks to the Lehigh Valley Jewish community to focus on keeping its people, places and events secure? “I was facing retirement from the military and needed to continue my service to others,” he said. “I am blessed to have been hired to continue my service to all of you and am grateful to be a part of this community.”

The Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is starting a fundraising campaign exclusively to fund this project to keep the community safe. The campaign needs to raise $65,000 for the year 2023-24. To make a donation, visit