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Uvalde School District Police Chief Placed On Leave Amid Ongoing Criticism

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Pete Arredondo, the police chief of the Uvalde, Texas, college district, was positioned on administrative go away Wednesday amid criticism concerning the regulation enforcement response to the bloodbath at Robb Elementary School that left 19 youngsters and two academics useless final month.

Hal Harrell, superintendent of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, mentioned that, though the district initially deliberate to attend till investigations of the taking pictures have been accomplished earlier than making personnel choices, his workplace was “still without details” and had made the choice to take away Arredondo from obligation whereas these inquiries proceed.

“Because of the lack of clarity that remains and the unknown timing of when I will receive the results of the investigations, I have made the decision to place Chief Arredondo on administrative leave effective on this date,” Harrell mentioned in an announcement.

It’s unclear if Arredondo’s go away is paid or unpaid. He might be changed by Lt. Mike Hernandez.

The chief has come beneath fierce scrutiny after the May 24 mass taking pictures amid experiences that officers from a number of companies shortly arrived on the college to confront the gunman however then took greater than an hour to enter the classroom the place he had holed up.

The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Col. Steve McCraw, excoriated regulation enforcement this week, saying their response was an “abject failure” and that police “decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children.” McCraw mentioned there have been sufficient officers on scene three minutes after the shooter entered the college to cease him, including that police by no means checked the classroom door to see if it was locked, as an alternative ready greater than an hour for a key.

“The officers had weapons; the children had none,” McCraw instructed The Texas Tribune this week. “The officers had body armor; the children had none. The officers had training; the subject had none. One hour, 14 minutes and 8 seconds. That’s how long children waited, and the teachers waited, in Room 111 to be rescued.”

Arredondo has been described because the incident commander on scene through the assault, however the chief mentioned he didn’t take into account himself in cost because the taking pictures unfolded. He’s defended the actions of officers, saying his purpose was to get to the college “as fast as possible, eliminate any threats, and protect the students and staff.”

“Not a single responding officer ever hesitated, even for a moment, to put themselves at risk to save the children,” Arredondo instructed the Tribune in an interview this month. “We responded to the information that we had and had to adjust to whatever we faced.”

Arredondo, who was elected to the Uvalde City Council on May 7, was lately denied a go away of absence from his council function as investigations into the taking pictures proceed. The City Council mentioned he may very well be faraway from his seat if he missed the subsequent two conferences.

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