Some Welcome Relief for Those Affected by the Las Vegas Mass Shooting

Jerry Ashworth
December 5, 2018 at 10:53:50 ET
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We’ll never forget the day we heard about it in the news on Oct. 1, 2017. What started as an exciting evening of music under the stars in Las Vegas, Nev., turned into a night of unfathomable grief as 48 people were killed and hundreds were injured at the hands of a sniper’s rifle from the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. Thousands fled for their lives as bullets cascaded down on them. Such tragic events are becoming all too commonplace across our country, and preventing such a dreadful attack is extremely difficult.

That’s why we were heartened to hear that the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Program recently awarded more than $16.7 million in Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP) funding to local entities around Las Vegas to assist survivors attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, the site of the tragic mass shooting.

Earlier this year, DOJ awarded more than $2 million to support first responders in the aftermath of the shooting, as well as $8.7 million to provide multi-disciplinary, scenario-based active shooter training to first responders across the country. Under a grant award issued last week, DOJ provided $16,735,720 to assist victims of this incident, including ticket holders, concert staff, vendors, witnesses, law enforcement personnel, and other first responders. It also will support close family members, medical personnel, coroner’s staff, taxi drivers, and others who helped the concert attendees. The grant seeks to defray the costs of counseling and therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and trauma recovery for victims and emergency responders. Funds will also help with legal aid and supplement the massive outlays incurred by the Nevada victim compensation program.

“While we cannot undo the harm that has been done, this Department of Justice is doing what we can to help Los Vegas heal,” said DOJ Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

AEAP is a non-competitive solicitation specifically created to provide supplemental emergency and longer-term victim support to jurisdictions where a criminal mass violence or domestic terrorism incident occurred. The Office of Justice Programs can award funding once local and state authorities have determined the costs associated with responding and have submitted a request for assistance. More information about AEAP is available here.

The shooting itself likely never will be forgotten, but it’s good to know that those affected by this tragedy and the heroic first responders are not being forgotten either. Frankly, it’s a shame that this program even had to be created in the first place.