Opinion: Local law enforcement in need of more resources, says Rep. Torres
The violent attack in San Bernardino was a tragedy that has shaken our community to its core. As we move forward, we are confronted not only with the loss of our neighbors but with the challenge of making sure this doesn't happen again. While I share many of the sentiments expressed by the president in his address to our nation on Dec. 6, I believe he left out one critical piece: resources and training for our nation's local law enforcement.
Earlier this year, I held a roundtable meeting with local law enforcement, the FBI, Homeland Security, and other federal officials to discuss emergency coordination and emerging threats to our communities. As a part of this discussion, our local police stressed the need for additional resources, specifically tools for greater cross-agency information sharing as well as access to excess military equipment and the training to appropriately use this equipment to combat homegrown threats. During last week's attack we saw San Bernardino law enforcement effectively deploy these very kinds of resources in their response. If our nation is to address the threat of future attacks, we must ensure that law enforcement personnel throughout the nation not only have the tools they need to do so but also the training to effectively and appropriately use those tools.
Our local law enforcement agencies are our first line of defense in the fight against domestic terrorists, both in responding to attacks and in working within our communities to prevent them. I therefore call on the president and congressional leaders to work together to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to keep us safe.
(Rep. Norma Torres represents California's 35th congressional district, which includes part of Fontana.)