The Department of Homeland Security has awarded $1.3 million to San Bernardino County for counter-terrorism efforts, Rep. Pete Aguilar said this week.

The Department of Homeland Security has awarded $1.3 million to San Bernardino County for counter-terrorism efforts, Rep. Pete Aguilar said this week.

The federal funds must be "used to improve the region's ability to prepare for, prevent and respond to potential terrorist attacks," according to Aguilar's office, and will be dispersed through the Program to Prepare Communities for Complex Coordinated Terrorist Attacks (CCTA).

In a statement announcing the funding award, Aguilar, D-Redlands, referenced the Dec. 2, 2015, terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino that killed 14 and injured 22.

"Had it not been for the heroism of our local law enforcement and first responders, we would have lost more innocent lives that day," he said. "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."

Robert Lovingood, chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, echoed Aguilar's sentiment, saying that "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," Lovingood said.

Aguilar said he began advocating for CCTA funds immediately after the terror attack, working with the Appropriations Committee and talking to the House floor with Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, to lobby for federal dollars.

"Here in San Bernardino, no one anticipated the unthinkable acts that were committed by the terrorists on Dec. 2, 2015," Sheriff John McMahon said. "I have always advocated preparedness for the unknown, and programs such as 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."