UVALDE, Texas – Tuesday evening’s Uvalde City Council meeting lasted for several hours, and the agenda covered a wide range of topics. One of the key topics discussed was Uvalde Police Department’s physical fitness requirements moving forward.
Uvalde Police Chief Daniel Rodriguez explained he’s looking to the Texas Department of Public Safety for guidance.
“DPS has probably the best physical fitness instructor course in Texas, so that’s why I want to go with them,” Rodriguez said.
The topic of officer fitness has been brought up several times during the three and a half months since the Robb Elementary shooting.
“You said if they’re applying, they’ll have to be able to meet those requirements. What about the ones that are already employed?” Adam Martinez, a Uvalde parent, asked Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said the new physical requirements would be taught in a non-consecutive six-week program by DPS. New and current UPD officers must pass the physical tests twice a year.
The council also accepted a donation from the Texas National Emergency Number Association (Texas NENA) for a total overhaul of UPD’s communication center.
“The equipment will not only benefit the 911 center but also members of the community by facilitating the collaboration between agencies in an expeditious and cohesive manor without having to raise taxes,” said Cindy McCraw, president of the Texas NENA.
That new center should be ready in October, according to the group’s timeline.
Also on the agenda was a discussion over headstones for the 21 Robb Elementary victims.
The cemetery advisory board gave the green light to standing headstones. They’re just working out the logistics of how tall they’ll be.
Discussion happening now about changing cemetery ordinance to allow for an upright headstones for the Robb victims. The cemetery advisory board says that headstones can be 30”total 24”stone and 6”base.— Leigh Waldman (@LeighWaldman) September 14, 2022
In a statement read before the council, Kimberly Rubio, Lexi Rubio’s mom, wrote she would only support 30-inch total headstones.
“It is my understanding that the committee wants an 18-inch headstone. I am opposed to this recommendation. I asked the council to please approve a 24-inch-headstone with a 6-inch base,” Jose Montalvo said as he read Rubio’s statement.
The council will vote on those proposed changes to cemetery ordinances at their next meeting.
Also discussed during the meeting was a letter written to Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan asking him to call for a special session to raise the age to buy an assault-style weapon to 21. This comes after previous letters to Gov. Greg Abbott went unanswered.