Uvalde PD took steps to improve response to mass shootings prior to DOJ’s critical incident review, city says

UPD has bought new equipment, undertaken new training among ‘substantial and proactive steps’ DOJ recommended

Uvalde Police Department vehicle (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

UVALDE, Texas – The Uvalde Police Department took action to improve the way the law enforcement agency responds to crises such as mass shootings prior to the U.S. Department of Justice’s critical incident review of the Robb Elementary School shooting that killed 19 students and two teachers, the city said in a news release Thursday.

“Prior to receiving the report, the Uvalde Police Department had taken substantial and proactive steps that address a number of recommendations in the report,” the news release said.

Recommended Videos

Among the recommendations the DOJ report outlined were tactics and equipment, leadership, incident command, and coordination, post-incident response and investigation, public communication during and following the crisis, trauma and support services, school safety and security, and pre-incident planning and preparation.

The news release said among the improvements UPD has made include the purchasing of new equipment to enhance police officers’ capabilities:

  • Rifle-rated shields
  • Rifle-rated ballistic helmets
  • Rifle armor plates
  • New communications consoles
  • Telecommunications upgrades
  • New handheld radios
  • New patrol vehicles
  • Advanced door breaching tools
  • Upgraded security system for the department
  • New hammer spike equipment for safely breaking glass
  • A rapid SOS program for enhanced communication

The city said that UPD officers have undergone a combined 1,699 hours of new training since May 2022 including:

  • Instructor-rated Active Shooter Response training
  • Instructor-rated Shield Use training
  • Door Breaching training
  • Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT)
  • Active Attack Integrated Response (AAIR) training
  • Solo Officer Rapid Deployment (SORD) training
  • Defense Tactics training
  • New Supervisor training
  • Texas Association of Property and Evidence Inventory Technicians (TAPEIT) training
  • Terrorism and Homeland Security training
  • Incident Command Systems training
  • Threat Assessment training
  • FEMA Incident Command, Capabilities, Planning and Response training
  • Crisis Intervention training
  • Firearms Instructor training
  • Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) Public Information Officer training
  • Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) Active Attack and Emergency Response Communications and Leadership training

UPD has also added or enhanced more than 12 training programs with Uvalde-area law enforcement, fire and EMS departments in an effort to improve coordination with them, the news release said.

DOJ also plans to provide UPD with additional training.

The news release also said the city is awaiting the results of an independent investigation by an “experienced former law enforcement detective” of UPD’s response to the shooting.

“As a City, we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure our law enforcement officials have the resources and training they need to keep the people of Uvalde safe. The City of Uvalde is continuing to work closely with the families of the victims in an effort to bring our community to a place of healing,” the news release said.

About the Author

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.

Recommended Videos