State documents appear to indicate Uvalde Sheriff Nolasco has not completed active shooter training

Date:


Uvalde, Texas
CNN

Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco appears to have had no active shooting training, according to documents CNN obtained Monday from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the regulatory agency for Texas peace officers.

The information comes on the heels of a controversial Uvalde County Commission meetingin which Richard Carter, a lawyer with expertise in policing, presented the results of an independent review—for which the county had hired him—of the Sheriff’s Office’s policies at the time of the Robb Elementary School massacre.

According to Carter, the sheriff’s office had no active shooting policy on May 24, when a teenage gunman with a semi-automatic rifle stormed the school, killing 19 students and two teachers.

Active shooting training is not required by county or state regulations for those who are not school law enforcement officers. And according to the report, an active response policy for shooters is not required by Texas law from law enforcement agencies.

County commissioners met behind closed doors for more than 90 minutes to review the report and meet with the victims’ relatives. Community members at the rally called for Nolasco’s impeachment after CNN’s coverage last week of his failure to mount a response to the school and his failure to share critical information about the shooter.

Nolasco was one of the senior law enforcement officers at the scene of the massacre.

After the encounter, Carter also appeared to indicate that Nolasco had no active shooting training.

“He has not followed the course his officers — all but three officers — have taken. He plans to do that in the near future,” Carter said. “What I understood was that he wanted to make sure all his people who were going out were trained,” before getting his own training.

In an email to CNN using Nolasco’s data, Gretchen Grigsby, spokesman for the Law Enforcement Commission, said that “active shooting training is only required for school law enforcement officers as part of a one-time certification,” but she expected the topic to become a topic of discussion. discussion during the next legislature.

CNN has contacted Nolasco about the contents of the report, but has not received a response.

CNN also contacted the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement to clarify the contents of Nolasco’s training history, but has not received a response.

The conclusion of Carter’s review comes after months of CNN coverage of the police response to the shooting, including that Nolasco had vital information about the shooter that was not shared as the incident unfolded. It was just the latest revelation from senior law enforcement officers not taking command or not following protocol to stop an active shooter and quickly treat the victims.

Carter’s investigation, which lasted about two months, strictly adhered to the sheriff’s policy, he said Monday.

The office has since adopted an active shooting policy, Carter said during the public portion of Monday’s meeting.

But at the time of the shooting — the worst at a U.S. K-12 school in nearly a decade — the textbook only defined “active shooter,” Carter said. And while there were “sections that covered critical incidents and how officers would respond,” it didn’t constitute active firing policy, he added.

However, whether the sheriff’s office had an active shooting policy “doesn’t excuse what happened” on the day of the shooting, a community member said in a public comment section of Monday’s meeting.

“Our officers in Uvalde County, including the city, school and county, don’t live under a rock,” said Diana Olvedo-Karau. “Active shooting incidents happen all too often in our country…so to step back and give the impression that there is no accountability because there was no policy is unacceptable, inexcusable and shameful.”

Carter did not investigate the actions of agency staff at the shooting scene, he said, which, along with the broader law enforcement response, have been scrutinized.

The grandmother of the shooting victim Amerie Jo Garza said she was “in total shock”. The sheriff’s office had no active shooting policy.

“I couldn’t believe that with all the mass shootings that have taken place in Texas alone that there was no policy. It was a total shock,” Berlinda Irene Arreola said on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.

Arreola said it was difficult to see Mariano Pargas, acting police chief of Uvalde on the day of the shooting, at the rally.

“It was very difficult and it was very sad,” she said of Pargas, who has since resigned but is still a district commissioner.

Arreola said she believes he had enough time to get the incident under control, but that he “ran the other way instead.”

“So seeing him for the first time was very, very hurtful,” she said.

Arreola said the upcoming holiday season will be a difficult time for her family without Amerie.

“My son and my daughter-in-law just can’t keep it together to enjoy the holidays. So it will be different, certainly different this year and very sad. Very sad,” she said.

In the months following the shooting, criticism of the law enforcement response centered on the failure to follow key principles of post-Columbine policy to immediately incapacitate an active shooter. Instead, based on the early and erroneous assessment that the shooter was barricaded, as opposed to an active shooter with his victims surrounding him in two adjacent classrooms, police waited 77 minutes before confronting him.

Much of the initial criticism was aimed at the Uvalde School’s police chief, Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, who had said he never put himself in charge on the day of the shooting. He was finally fired in August.

However, in the months since the shooting, it has become clear that the failures that day went far beyond the scope of the small school police. According to a preliminary report by a Texas House of Representatives investigative committee, 376 agents from local, state and federal agencies were at the scene of the massacre.

Pargas, who remains an elected district commissioner, resigned from the police force after CNN reported that he knew children needed rescuing and failed to organize help.

Separately, a Texas Ranger and a state police captain are being judged for their actions or inaction on the day of the shooting, and a state police sergeant was fired. Another officer who left the state police and took a job with the Uvalde school district was also fired after CNN reported that she is under investigation for her actions during the shooting.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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