June 28--SAN BERNARDINO -- The U.S. Department of Justice is repaying the sheriff's, police and fire departments that responded to the Dec. 2 terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center $500,000 for the extraordinary expenses incurred by the response.
"This is an important step forward for our region as it continues to recover, however, we have a long road ahead," Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-San Bernardino, is quoted as saying in a press release issued Monday announcing the funds.
Aguilar and Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, requested the funds be made available as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill on March 23.
"The first responders, who bravely went above the call of duty, must have the resources necessary to continue to protect our region," Calvert is quoted as saying in the press release from Aguilar's office. "I'm thankful the DOJ has rightfully awarded funding to support our law enforcement agencies and our region for their response to a federal responsibility."
The $500,000 grant, which will be distributed by the California Board of State and Community Corrections, will be officially granted Tuesday. It has not yet been determined how the money will be disbursed among the departments.
Local law enforcement leaders, including San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan and San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, visited Washington, D.C., in January, meeting with officials in an attempt to recoup the costs local agencies incurred responding to the attack. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant was identified as one of the means of repayment.
"The initial reimbursement from DOJ is appreciated by the Sheriff's Department and the San Bernardino Police Department," McMahon is quoted as saying in the press release. "Congressman Aguilar and Congressman Calvert were instrumental in connecting us with the correct people and departments in Washington to start the cost recovery process."
The grant will be used to reimburse state and local agencies for overtime and regular salary costs related to the response by San Bernardino County law enforcement and other first responder agencies on Dec. 2.
According to San Bernardino County spokesman David Wert, local government agencies spent an estimated $20 million on their response to the Dec. 2 attack.
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