On May 24th, 2023, a gunman entered an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing nineteen children and two teachers. Since that day, numerous reports have been posted regarding the cascading failures of multiple law enforcement agencies that responded to the incident.
The Justice Department's long-anticipated report has now been released to the general public, pointing out the cascading failures of leadership, decision-making, tactics, policy, and training.
The report further indicated that had law enforcement agencies followed protocol and generally accepted practices in an active shooter situation and gone right after the shooter to stop him, lives would have been saved, and people would have survived.
According to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, this report was produced to offer lessons that would better prepare law enforcement across the country to respond to future mass shootings. It offered recommendations that included requiring all regional agencies to train together and providing officers nationwide with at least eight hours of active shooter training annually.
This report stated that during this incident, officers wrongly treated the situation as a barricaded suspect instead of one in which a shooter was an active threat to children and teachers. Officers should never treat an active shooter with access to victims as a barricaded suspect, especially in a school where there is a high probability of potential victims and innocent civilians being present.
In conclusion, U.S. Attorney Garland stated that law enforcement agencies nationwide should immediately prioritize active shooter training.
Lomi Kriel, The Texas Tribune and Propublica
January, 18th, 2024
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