- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Police in Philadelphia and Los Angeles can lay claim to Special Weapons and Tactics teams, or SWAT, which are comprised of law enforcers trained to be proficient in the use of military equipment, sharpshooting and multiple peacekeeping methods.

Philadelphia established its 100-member team in 1964 in response to an alarming rise in bank robberies, while the 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles led to widespread usage.

San Bernardino, like numerous U.S. police and sheriffs departments, has its own SWAT team, and, as SWAT teams are trained to do, it quickly swung into action on Wednesday.

The city, county and region in California were named for St. Bernardino, an Italian Franciscan known as “The Apostle of Italy.” Bernardino preached frequently against sodomy, gambling, witchcraft and usury.

According to the website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Mormons began settling in the San Bernardino Valley in shortly after the Mexican-American War (1846-1847).

“In the fall of 1851, the San Bernardino Valley was transformed from a Mexican rancho into the largest predominantly Anglo-American settlement in the California southland with the arrival of some 400 Latter-day Saints. They possessed a unique commitment to their new community forged by persecution and pioneering challenges. … Some had traveled across the plains with President Brigham Young. Others had come west around Cape Horn to San Francisco on the ship Brooklyn. Some were Mormon Battalion veterans, who had marched thousands of miles for God and country. The group also included an entire branch of Southern converts, some of whom had given up plantations and come west, bringing with them their African-American servants, including slaves who ultimately received their freedom,” the website says.

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