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Department of Justice Releases Critical Incident Review of the

Star For Immediate Release
September 9, 2016

CONTACT: Mary Brandenberger
mary.brandenberger@usdoj.gov
(202) 514-5328


Department of Justice Releases Critical Incident Review of the San Bernardino Public Safety Response to the December 2015 Terrorist Shooting Incident

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today announced the release of its critical incident review of the December 2015 terrorist shooting incident in San Bernardino (CA), Bringing Calm to Chaos: A Critical Incident Review of the San Bernardino Public Safety Response to the December 2, 2015 Terrorist Shooting Incident at the Inland Regional Center.

In the attack, which took place at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, 14 people were killed and 22 were seriously injured. The attack is the third deadliest on U.S. soil since 9/11.

At the request of San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan and San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon and cooperation from law enforcement through the region, the COPS Office and its technical assistance provider (the Police Foundation) set out to critically assess the decisions made and the actions taken in response to the terrorist incident.

“I commend the efforts of the members of San Bernardino's public safety team for risking their lives to ensure the safety of others and for their willingness to relive these experiences to provide lessons learned to help other agencies prepare for future unimaginable events,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis.

The COPS Office and the Police Foundation objectively and thoroughly examined all aspects of San Bernardino's public safety response – including preparation and aftermath. Based on the perspectives of the first responders, the review highlights six key themes that are applicable to all of the nation’s public safety departments. The key themes are focused around areas of:

  1. Building relationships
  2. Reviewing, studying, and applying lessons from critical incident reviews (such as this one)
  3. Planning and exercising unified command for incidents on a regular basis
  4. Improving response by conducting regional, multi-organization training
  5. Preparing and utilizing equipment and technology
  6. Attending to community, victim, and officer wellness

To read the full report, Bringing Calm to Chaos: A Critical Incident Review of the San Bernardino Public Safety Response to the December 2, 2015 Terrorist Shooting Incident at the Inland Regional Center, please visit: http://ric-zai-inc.com/Publications/cops-w0808-pub.pdf. A visual representation of the events that took place that day is available here: http://incidentreview.wpengine.com/san-bernardino/.

The COPS Office established the Critical Response Technical Assistance program in 2013 to provide targeted technical assistance to law enforcement agencies dealing with high profile events, major incidents, or sensitive issues of varying need.

The COPS Office is a federal agency responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 127,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.

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