Friday marks the anniversary of the tragic Dec. 2 terrorist attack in San Bernardino that claimed the lives of 14 and injured nearly two dozen at the Inland Regional Center and local authorities have said there are no credible threats of any copycat related type events at this time.
San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon told the Daily Press his department has not received any information related to any threats on Friday’s anniversary of what he calls the most tragic and devastating event to hit the county.
The attacks on Dec. 2, 2015, were carried out by Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 29, who fatally shot 14 people — mostly county workers — and injured 22 at a county holiday party/training session at the Inland Regional Center. After the shootings, the couple fled the scene and were killed in a shootout with law enforcement later that afternoon.
McMahon said Friday will serve as a reminder that a terrorist attack can happen in any community across the nation.
“It was an important lesson we all learned, not just in our county but across the country,” McMahon said. “A terrorist attack could occur anywhere in the United States and it doesn’t have to be an identified high-profile target. ... We saw what happened in Ohio (on Monday). We have to be constantly aware that threats are there and we are seeing more of these types of attacks across the entire country.”
The department continually has personnel assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between local, state and federal agencies that is led by the FBI, according to McMahon.
McMahon said there will not be any specific extra enforcement or deputies on patrol Friday.
“If any information is discovered that there is a credible threat anywhere in our county we will respond and staff appropriately. But at this point there is no information to suggest that is the case,” McMahon said.
However, McMahon said deputies will be “hypervigilant” and encouraged citizens to be so as well.
“We have to be aware everyday,” he said. “Law enforcement relies heavily on the citizens we serve to report suspicious activity. People shouldn’t be hesitant to report anything that just look right, let us investigate it. Don't’ worry about being as politically correct as some may want, because a little thing that doesn't look right may very well not be right. If we get involved we could prevent a tragic event from occurring.”
Jose Quintero may be reached at 760-955-5332 or JQuintero@DesertDispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at @DP_JoseQ.