The Uvalde School District suspended its police department for four months after the mass shooting


The police department that serves the Uvalde, Texas, school district has been suspended, officials announced Friday, more than four months after a mass shooting claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers. The decision was made amid several ongoing investigations into the department and its response to the fatality May 24 rampage at Robb Elementary School.

Anne Marie Espinoza, executive director of communications and marketing for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District (UCISD), wrote in a statement that the department was suspended due to “recent developments” that “revealed additional concerns with the department’s operations.”

Those officers who serve on the UCISD police force “will fill additional roles within the district,” she added. Two officers within the department — Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Ken Mueller — have been placed on administrative leave. Mueller subsequently decided to retire, according to Espinoza.

While the police department is suspended, the Texas Department of Public Safety will provide troopers to ensure the safety of students and teachers at Uvalda schools.

“We are confident that the safety of staff and students will not be compromised during this transition,” Espinoza said.

Several outside groups are still investigating the UCISD Police Department, which has faced heavy criticism since the day of the shooting.

In July, damn news cited “extremely poor decision-making” by officers who waited more than an hour before confronting the 18-year-old gunman. Campus Police Chief, Pete Arredondo, he was fired in August.

And on Thursday a former Texas national who was hired to serve UCISD after the shooting was fired. Crimson Elizondo was among more than 90 state troopers — and nearly 400 police officers in all — who rushed to Robb Elementary School during the massacre, but waited more than an hour before confronting the gunman wielding an AR-15-style rifle who opened fire on the fourth-grader classes.

Espinoza said Tuesday that the district is working with the Texas Association of Chiefs of Police, which is conducting a review and will “manage the rebuilding of the department and the hiring of a new police chief,” she said. The report is due out this month.

Meanwhile, the UCISD Police Department’s response to the shooting is under investigation. “The results of the investigation will shape future personnel decisions,” Espinoza said.

“The district remains committed to addressing issues with verifiable evidence,” she added.



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