Tags: inland regional center | reopening | san bernardino | shooting

Inland Regional Center Reopening a Month After San Bernardino Shooting

Image: Inland Regional Center Reopening a Month After San Bernardino Shooting
Memorial items hang from a fence surrounding the Inland Regional Center, site of the massacre by suspects Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik earlier this month, in San Bernardino, California, December 21, 2015. (David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 04 Jan 2016 02:06 PM

The Inland Regional Center reopened Monday a little more than a month after 14 people were killed at the San Bernardino facility in a terrorist attack carried out by husband-and-wife duo Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik.

There was a noticeable security presence when employees began to arrive at the building around 7:30 a.m., according to the San Bernardino Sun. A fence erected around the facility in the wake of the attacks will remain up and security guards posted, said executive director of the center Lavinia Johnson.

With a staff of 600, the Inland Regional Center serves more than 30,000 developmentally disabled people from throughout its region in Southern California, officials told the Sun.

"It has been a difficult time for us, and we are very glad to be back at our IRC home," Johnson said, according to KTLA-TV. "Our staff [is] very excited to be coming back. It is normal for them to have some anxiety. Recognizing what we went through on Dec. 2, our buildings are safe."

The Inland Regional Center is a private, nonprofit agency and its work includes conducting assessments and connecting people with organizations that offer therapy and other services, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise. Farook, who worked for the Department of Public Health, attended a holiday luncheon there on Dec. 2 before leaving, returning with his wife, and opening fire.

The San Bernardino community has given the center a great deal of support since the terrorist attack.

"There's a lot of camaraderie and social activity that happens in the office," Johnson said, according to the Press-Enterprise. "That closeness and that support is what we need to move forward . . . This has shown me that our community stands strong during a crisis."

Leeza Hoyt, a spokeswoman for the regional center, told the Los Angeles Times that it distributed 350 iPads to employees during their time away from the facility, which allowed them to access patient records.

Getting employees back into the center, though, will allow them to serve patients more effectively, Hoyt added.

"They work in teams, and as you can imagine, they're all looking forward to getting back together with their team," she said. "There's a camaraderie that happens; there's a brainstorming function that happens."

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The Inland Regional Center reopened Monday a little more than a month after 14 people were killed at the San Bernardino facility in a terrorist attack carried out by husband-and-wife duo Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik.
inland regional center, reopening, san bernardino, shooting
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2016-06-04
Monday, 04 Jan 2016 02:06 PM
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