San Bernardino, CA – Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-San Bernardino) announced that the Department of Homeland Security awarded San Bernardino County $1.3 million in federal funds to be used to improve the region’s ability to prepare for, prevent and respond to potential terrorist attacks. The funding comes after more than 18 months of Rep. Aguilar advocating for the region to receive the funds and calling on the federal government to allocate additional federal dollars to the Inland Empire community, which is still recovering from the horrific terror attack at the Inland Regional Center on December 2, 2015 that killed 14 and seriously injured 22. The funding will be dispersed through the Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks (CCTA).
“When the attack in San Bernardino occurred, we became the site of the worst terrorist attack since 9/11. Had it not been for the heroism of our local law enforcement and first responders, we would have lost more innocent lives that day. Their incredible response is an example of how critical preparedness is in situations like this, and that’s why I’ve continuously fought to ensure that our community has the resources it needs to prevent, prepare for and respond to extraordinary emergencies,” said Rep. Aguilar. He added, “I’m glad to see the Department of Homeland Security select our community for this funding and I’ll keep working to ensure our federal agencies step up and help our region as we continue to recover.”
San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood commented, “During the Dec. 2, 2015 attack, we found that the cross-training among law enforcement agencies was of tremendous value. This grant will help us continue that work by enhancing security and increasing our counter-terror efforts. And on behalf of the County, we appreciate Congressman Aguilar’s assistance in receiving this grant.”
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said, “Here in San Bernardino, no one anticipated the unthinkable acts that were committed by the terrorists on December 2, 2015. I have always advocated preparedness for the unknown, and programs such as the CCTA will aid in our ability to collaborate with our partners in emergency services to better prepare and try to prevent future acts of terrorism.”
Rep. Aguilar began advocating for the CCTA funds immediately after the terror attack in San Bernardino, working with the Appropriations Committee and taking to the House floor with fellow Inland Empire Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona) to request the federal dollars. Over the following months, Rep. Aguilar consistently spoke with federal officials at the Department of Homeland Security about the grant and advocated on behalf of San Bernardino County to ensure his community would receive the necessary funds.
Since December 2015, Rep. Aguilar has worked tirelessly to bring federal dollars back to the community to help law enforcement offset the incredible costs incurred from their heroic response to the attack, and to help survivors and victims’ families get access to the assistance they need to recover. His efforts have helped the community to receive $1 million to help law enforcement and $4 million to support the short and long-term needs of the terror attack victims.
Rep. Aguilar has and will continue to work with local, state and federal officials on both sides of the aisle to ensure San Bernardino County has the resources it needs to recover and move forward.