Uvalde School District Suspends Its Police Force
The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District announced Friday that it has suspended its entire school police force, five months after the deadly mass shooting at the city’s Robb Elementary that left 19 children and two teachers dead.
“The District has made the decision to suspend all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time. Officers currently employed will fill other roles in the district,” the district said in a statement. “The District has requested the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide additional troopers for campus and extra-curricular activities. We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition.”
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The suspension also comes just under two months after the school board fired police chief Pete Arredondo following intense scrutiny and multiple investigations into law enforcement’s bungled and haphazard response to the massacre, where officers waited a reported 77 minutes before engaging the shooter.
Arredondo was replaced in the role by Lt. Miguel Hernandez, who on Friday was also put on administrative leave.
The school police force was recently back under the microscope after CNN revealed that one of the new officers they hired, a Texas Department of Public Safety officer, was among the first at the mass shooting at Robb Elementary but did not move to confront the gunman. That employee, Crimson Elizondo, was fired by the school district Thursday amid a series of citizen protests that proceeded Friday’s suspension.
In July, an investigative report by the Texas House of Representatives concluded that “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” led Uvalde law enforcement to violate school shooting protocols when they delayed confronting the shooter for over an hour after the gunman entered Robb Elementary and began shooting.
“It’s important that this community begin a healing process and begin to try and move on,” State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, whose district includes Uvalde, previously told the Austin American-Statesman. “The fact is there is a lot of accountability that still needs to be had.”
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