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Lead Cops at Uvalde Massacre Mostly Still On the Job

None of the many senior and supervising law enforcement officials implicated in the tragically delayed response to last year's mass shooting at a Uvalde, Tex., school has lost his job, other than the much-maligned former chief of the school district's small police force, the Washington Post reports. That array of law enforcement talent played a central role in the delayed response at Robb Elementary School, where 19 fourth-grade students and two teachers were killed over a 77-minute span, and had direct knowledge the gunman had continued shooting but failed to swiftly stop him. At least seven key figures who stalled, even as evidence mounted that children remained in danger, are still employed by the same agencies they worked for that day. One was commended for his actions. Some of those officers remain in the community. “When we see them, they put their heads down,” said Felicha Martinez, whose son was killed in the attack and whose cousin is a police officer who responded to the shooting. “They know they did wrong and wish they could go back and do it over again.”

That lack of accountability is just one aspect of the fallout from the massacre in the year since. Other questions beyond the delayed response by the more than 370 officers from multiple agencies on the scene, the New York Times reports, center on police training, school security and preparedness, and gun regulations. Did any of the actions take thus far make another mass shooting less likely? In Uvalde, people have had their doubts. “Almost a year now, and honestly nothing has changed,” Jesse Rizo, the uncle of one of the massacre victims, told the Uvalde school board in the weeks before Wednesday’s anniversary of the shooting. The school district did fire its police chief, Pete Arredondo, and dismantled the police force. A special Texas legislative committee found the failures were "systemic," but it is still not clear that a faster police response would have saved lives. The fallout has not resulted in immediate changes to how police officers are trained in Texas. In Uvalde, local police now have additional ballistic shields and helmets, as well as new tools for breaching barricaded doors. At schools in Uvalde, school administrators have installed new eight-foot fences, sensors that would alert staff if a door did not lock properly and more security cameras to monitor activity outside all schools. As for gun laws, Texas has moved to widen access to firearms in the year since the shooting.


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