On Friday, March 24, 2017, the Rose Institute of State and Local Government and the Lowe Institute of Political Economy held a well-attended public policy conference, Homeland Security at the Local Level. Hosted by the Inland Empire Center for Economics and Public Policy, the event focused on the array of counterterrorism efforts carried out daily by our state and local officials.
After a keynote address delivered by Eli Owen, Deputy Commander of California’s State Threat Assessment Center, the conference held two panels on the issues of readiness and response. The “Readiness” panel had Dr. Robert J. Bunker of the Strategic Studies Institute, as moderator. Ramon Leon, Riverside County Emergency Management, and Stephen Woolery, Federal Bureau of Investigation, were the panelists. They focused on prioritizing threats in order to best prepare communities for the most pressing threats, whether they be natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
The panelists also reflected on the response of various agencies to the San Bernardino terror attack of 2015, a topic that was expanded in the “Response” panel. Panelists Jim Bueermann, Police Foundation, Jarrod Burguan, San Bernardino police chief, and Steve Higgins, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, reflected on the immediate responses of officials ranging from policemen, to emergency medical personnel, to FBI agents and elected officials of the communities involved. The “Response” panel presented a unique perspective and critical analysis of the chain of events that followed the San Bernardino attack.
To complement the in-depth homeland security panels, the Inland Empire Center released its Spring 2017 Inland Empire Outlook (IEO). This edition of the IEO contains several features written by Rose Institute research assistants detailing California’s history of terrorism, law enforcement and medical response to the San Bernardino attacks, and statewide legislative action regarding terrorism in California. All of these articles are available online.
The event could not have been possible without the generous support of our conference sponsors, the County of Riverside and the City of Adelanto.