What police departments can learn from the San Bernardino terror attack

Patrol officers need to be suitably prepared, trained and equipped to deal with terrorist attacks

Preparing America's Cops For Terrorism in 2017: PoliceOne is providing special coverage on terrorism to help law enforcement prevent, combat and recover from a terrorist attack. Our expert columnists address prevention, preparedness, training, mitigation, response, recovery and lessons learned from incidents on U.S. soil. Check out all of our coverage here.

In December 2015, a husband and wife team of terrorists attacked a Christmas party for their fellow county workers in San Bernardino, California, ending any doubt that the "Global War on Terror" had reached American shores. At the 2016 National Tactical Officers Association conference, Lieutenant Travis Walker, formerly of the San Bernardino Police Department, debriefed the audience about the attack and the police response, providing invaluable insight.

1. It can happen to you

Nobody on SBPD thought their city would be the focus of an attack. They always expected the possibility of providing mutual aid to nearby Los Angeles, but didn't expect to be the target. No city, regardless of size, location or demographics, is immune to terrorism.

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