Uvalde police department was unprepared for emergencies: Report

The New York Times just released a report that would appear to suggest that Uvalde police were not prepared to deal with the recent Texas school shooting. 

The Times’ article is titled, “No Radio, Old Tactics: How the Police Response in Uvalde Broke Down.” 

Background

There have been many questions raised about the Texas school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead. Some of these questions have been aimed at the police and their response to the scene.

One of the biggest questions is why the police waited so long to enter the classroom where the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was located.

As The Guardian points out, “It took more than an hour for police officers to enter and stop the gunman.”

Such questions have not been adequately answered. And now, the New York Times’ new report is raising even more questions about the Uvalde police’s response to the shooting.

“No Radio”

One thing that we learn from the Times’ report is that Pete Arrendondo, one of the first police officers to arrive at the scene, did not have a police radio.

“Chief Arredondo did not have a police radio with him, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation, which may have impeded his immediate ability to communicate with police dispatchers,” the Times reports.

The Times further reports that, because he did not have a radio, Arrendondo had to use his cellphone to call “a police landline with a message.”

“Old Tactics”

On top of this, the Times reports that those officers who did enter the classroom were not “a formal tactical unit,” and, what’s more, is that they just went for it.

The Times reports:

The officers who finally breached the locked classrooms with a janitor’s key were not a formal tactical unit, according to a person briefed on the response. The officers, including specially trained Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and a sheriff’s deputy, formed an ad hoc group on their own and gathered in the hallway outside the classroom, a tense space where they said there appeared to be no chain of command. They were done waiting for permission, one of them said, according to the person, before they moved toward the classroom where the gunman waited. They continued even after one of them heard a command crackling in his ear piece: Do not breach.

These officers certainly ought to be praised for their bravery. But, if the Times’ report is true, then Uvalde police were woefully unprepared for what happened. There, of course, is no saying what would have happened if they were prepared, but it certainly would not have hurt.

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