Increased liability, scrutiny over police officers’ actions has some second-guessing their decisions

Active shooter training specialist weighs in on police response to Uvalde school shooting

An active shooter training specialist who has worked with some Texas law enforcement agencies says there’s plenty of blame to go around following the Uvalde school massacre, including politicians and the public who have been scrutinizing decisions made by police in recent years.

SAN ANTONIO – An active shooter training specialist who has worked with some Texas law enforcement agencies says there’s plenty of blame to go around following the Uvalde school massacre, including politicians and the public who have been scrutinizing decisions made by police in recent years.

Jared Hudson, a former U.S. Navy Seal and founder of The Shooting Institute, makes tactical training contracts for the U.S. Department of Defense and some law enforcement agencies across the country. He’s also done some training in Texas.

Hudson said that based on what he’s learned through media articles and some information from Texas officials with knowledge of the ongoing Uvalde massacre investigations, there were many missed opportunities that went against the national standard of active shooter training.

“There’s a fire burning. And the best way to keep people from getting hurt by the fire is to put the fire out,” Hudson said. “It seems as if the fire was burning. The active shooter was actively, you know, killing kids, shooting at law enforcement, and law enforcement stood outside and waited.”

Hudson said there’s plenty of blame for officers’ inaction.

“From top-level leadership all the way down to the guy standing there in the hallway. There was a lack of willingness to go in,” Hudson said.

He said training has to come from someone who’s been in a gun battle. It helps prepare officers for what they can expect if they are ever in an active shooter situation.

But Hudson says it also takes more than training alone.

“I’m going to run, or I’m going to fight. You can’t train that. A lot of that is natural and innate in somebody already,” he said.

Hudson said officers and law enforcement agencies have been trained to lean toward a more diplomatic-based peacekeeping, as officers are scrutinized over every action they take or fail to take in recent years. The officers he trains tell him they second guess their actions because they fear making the wrong decision.

“Every time they go out and try to maintain peace, what happens? They get scrutinized by an attorney. They get scrutinized by the media. They get scrutinized by their leadership who’s not out making the decision and for what -- $50,000 a year?” Hudson said.

Hudson said it’s easy for politicians and community members to critique and question why officers made the call or didn’t make the call.

Uvalde local officials had the training and the tools to do the job, but it appears to him they hesitated.

Hudson said law enforcement agencies have to consider how they recruit and hire. They need to look for officers who will put themselves in the shoes of those parents in Uvalde who ran toward the danger, even if they didn’t have kids of their own in harm’s way.

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About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.