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Edit: Steve just beat me to it.

I’m a little surprised the School District Officers didn’t have their own emergency access keys, fobs, or codes. They certainly should have had them.
 

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Those 19 guys weren’t there yet when the true decision needed to be made, when the push forward needed to be done . Before the killer could set up.
The shots had alledgedly stopped. Again, what if the killer put human shields on the doors . Go look at the Pulse Nightclub response, both good and the bad. Rushing the door in that case would have gotten more people killed.
And how would you breach that locked door if was a security door. The real tac tram had to wait for a key.
I don’t know the set up of the school and the room. Was it exterior facing with windows? What kind of walls were there?
Not sure what you're reading about pulse but this is being toted up as exactly the same sort of failure. Missteps in Uvalde shooting response echo Pulse massacre, where 49 died
 

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@SAR

The school would be within the borders of the town or at least the county, so the larger agencies should have concurrent jurisdiction if they choose to exercise it. At least that's how it works around here.

For purposes of critical incident command the decision between all of those agencies as to who was going to be in charge should have been worked out beforehand. I'm guessing that they weren't, which is how Arredondo ended up in charge by default.
We’ve actually had large scale active shooter incidents. The one that comes immediately to mind is an incident that happened at UCLA a few years back. Our agency may outnumber UCLA PD 100 to 1, but they know the lay of the land, and had all the keys and building plans. We were forced to defer to them. It led to some animosity and some tactical issues… In was a clusterfk is all I can say.
 

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I work for a larger agency and the way it works is that the incident commander is generally a sergeant or a lieutenant. They are actively running the tactical incident. However, when Captains and Commanders and Chiefs start to show up, the incident commander will ask if they are assuming incident command. In almost all circumstances, the command staff will defer to the tactical incident commander because they don’t want to or can‘t run an active tactical operation. That being said, inexplicably, some command staff will try and interject and give directions anyways. It’s totally disregarding incident command protocol, but it’s not unusual for a member of the command staff to override a tactical decision made by the incident commander. In the past, we have had some infamous incidents when things went terribly wrong, and the command staff tried to throw the incident commander under the bus for a decision the higher up made. In the end, it becomes a mess settled in the courts, and usually results in a retirement or two.
Yes, I agree. That’s a great way of working scenes, if the chief can be left to chief stuff.

My last gig before retirement was as chief of what you would consider a small department, 21 sworn. Sometimes the hard rule of numbers kicks in and you have to get more in the weeds than you’d prefer. It’s just life in a small agency. We trained our guys and gals hard, everyone went to active shooter training at a minimum, many had previously been with swat or were still on the regional team. But, sometimes we were just too thin in the ground for me to just observe from a distance. C’est la guerre.
 

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“OLY-M4gery” said:
I think you could cover both doors to the hallway from the door between the 2 classrooms.

The ISD is a 4 officer department.
The PD had. SWAT team. This should have been a scenario they trained for
 

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@1cm

Which brings up another issue to consider as to why it's probably not a good idea to have the chief of the smaller agency designated as the incident commander for a multi- agency response. The Uvale PD SWAT guys weren't Arredondo's guys. Who knows what kind of local- yokel BS there was behind the scenes, but let's just imagine that ego or personal slights gave Arredondo some reason to not want to trust the UPD SWAT's capabilities when the chips were down. He wants to wait for the Texas Rangers or BORTAC because he thinks they'll be higher speed/ lower drag. An incident commander who was from UPD might have made a different decision with the resources he had because most of them were "his" people and he trusted them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #208 ·
The choice of having the chief of the 6 man school police department as your incident commander is an odd one. He's in charge of the smallest agency with the fewest resources. Other than he and his officers being more familiar with the specific layout of the school, they don't bring much to the table.

Ideally all of the local agencies would have gotten together beforehand and hammered all of this out with mutual aid agreements and MOUs. I suspect that they hadn't formally done that and incident command fell to Arredondo by default since it was his turf. He was clearly not the best choice.

I can't fault him for switching gears from active shooter to barricaded subject after the initial gunfire stopped. As was pointed out earlier, if the timeline is correct, there was a 37 minute gap without gunshots. So, okay, Ramos is a barricade and not an active shooter now. Got it.

But once BORTAC arrived Arredondo clearly should have deployed them to the hall to prepare for an assault if Ramos started shooting again. It is absolutely inexplicable to me why he didn't have them ready to go ASAP, even if there was some thought that they were going to try negotiations or something.

Typical admin weenie vaporlock is the only way I can figure it. Good thing that BORTAC decided to take matters into their own hands, but we're only able to say that because it worked out and only Ramos was killed in their assault. If one of the BORTAC guys had thrown a round that killed a hostage, the same people screeching about "How could the police just stand there while babies were dying?!" would be screeching twice as loudly about "Rogue Federal goons going in to play cowboy without authorization killing innocent Latinx babies!!" They'd be demanding that the BORTAC team be charged with Manslaughter for acting without lawful orders.

Arredondo's ineptitude exposed those guys to a lot of unnecessary liability. I'm glad they were willing to pick it up.
I agree with you on many levels on this except how and who becomes the incident commander, the tac commander etc. The idea of these incident commands is so someone can use the resources of the other departments. This crap goes back to the old NIMS training and protocols. But in reality, we know what happens. The school “ chief” took the leadership position and no one until the border patrol team showed up, challenged it.
 

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dukeboy01 said:
I can't fault him for switching gears from active shooter to barricaded subject after the initial gunfire stopped.
So like the ISD Chief, you do not think a classroom full of kids who were just shot, are NOT in need of urgent medical care?

Never mind all the 911 calls where the kids were saying we are still alive send help.

It is mind boggling to me anyone could not think getting EMS to those kids was not urgent. This mentality killed people at Orlando/Pulse too and we still have not learned.
 

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@1cm
Which brings up another issue to consider as to why it's probably not a good idea to have the chief of the smaller agency designated as the incident commander for a multi- agency response.
I think the issue at hand has less to do with agency size and a lot more to do with tactical competence.

I know some truly gifted tactical officers from small agencies who I’d want in charge of a scene over several less skilled ones from large departments. Of course, the reverse is also true.

I know a lot of upper echelon admin types who cut their teeth in big departments, amassed vast experience, then moved on to small departments for one reason or other.

Agency size is a consideration, but far from the only one when it comes to selecting the commander for this sort of thing…if it even drags on long enough for those kinds of discussions.
 

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Agency size is a consideration, but far from the only one when it comes to selecting the commander for this sort of thing…if it even drags on long enough for those kinds of discussions.
Agency size is indeed a consideration, but in an apples to oranges sort of way. I’ve worked for a small agency, a medium sized agency, and a huge agency. I can’t even make comparisons between the different agencies, and had I not worked each of them, I would have zero clue as to the best way to manage my resources accordingly. The first agency I worked for was small. We pretty much had to work our own scenes, figure things out on our own, and in the rare instances we needed back up, they might be rolling from 30 miles or more away. Contrast that to my large agency where I have multiple air assets and a full time SWAT team at my beck and call. Huge difference. I was the incident commander at one event where I summoned the SWAT Team and had two air units circling overhead. I had over a hundred personnel on hand to secure a perimeter and to conduct multiple searches. I even had on duty detectives respond to start canvassing for witnesses… there is no way I would have ever had such a luxury on my small agency and if I had, I would have been 100% overwhelmed and unable to figure out how to manage such vast assets if I did have them. Now if I had started at my large agency and went to a smaller one, the opposite would be true… If I had a major incident I’d be reaching into my pockets for all of the resources I was accustomed to and come up empty…

So basically what I am getting at is that an incident commander is best in his element, but may not fare very well if he is taken out of it and handed a lot less resources or a lot more resources… If I were the Chief of a small agency, I doubt I would know where to begin to deploy Federal Tactical Teams and the multitude of assets pouring in. I’d probably get analysis paralysis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #213 ·
@SAR

The school would be within the borders of the town or at least the county, so the larger agencies should have concurrent jurisdiction if they choose to exercise it. At least that's how it works around here.

For purposes of critical incident command the decision between all of those agencies as to who was going to be in charge should have been worked out beforehand. I'm guessing that they weren't, which is how Arredondo ended up in charge by default.
Just remember the time frame. It’s under an hour. Its in the training. Someone step up and lead. Then worry about that NIMS stuff. He stepped up and the people there followed his lead. The title “ chief” probably deterred police sergeants and others from taking over.
And if you take the Alerrt training, you know the positions of IC, tac coordinator can change as it scales up and down.
And remember that Botach unit would be low on that totem poll in any such agreements and they said “ F that” and went in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #214 ·
Agency size is indeed a consideration, but in an apples to oranges sort of way. I’ve worked for a small agency, a medium sized agency, and a huge agency. I can’t even make comparisons between the different agencies, and had I not worked each of them, I would have zero clue as to the best way to manage my resources accordingly. The first agency I worked for was small. We pretty much had to work our own scenes, figure things out on our own, and in the rare instances we needed back up, they might be rolling from 30 miles or more away. Contrast that to my large agency where I have multiple air assets and a full time SWAT team at my beck and call. Huge difference. I was the incident commander at one event where I summoned the SWAT Team and had two air units circling overhead. I had over a hundred personnel on hand to secure a perimeter and to conduct multiple searches. I even had on duty detectives respond to start canvassing for witnesses… there is no way I would have ever had such a luxury on my small agency and if I had, I would have been 100% overwhelmed and unable to figure out how to manage such vast assets if I did have them. Now if I had started at my large agency and went to a smaller one, the opposite would be true… If I had a major incident I’d be reaching into my pockets for all of the resources I was accustomed to and come up empty…

So basically what I am getting at is that an incident commander is best in his element, but may not fare very well if he is taken out of it and handed a lot less resources or a lot more resources… If I were the Chief of a small agency, I doubt I would know where to begin to deploy Federal Tactical Teams and the multitude of assets pouring in. I’d probably get analysis paralysis.
That definitely could have happened especially if he doesn’t know the fed team’s capabilities.
It’s funny as a low level supervisor in my organization, I have called in ESU, Aviation , K-9, detectives ( including 1st grade detectives) at my beck and call until someone higher up decides to step in ( if they decide to step in). By the time those higher supervisors show up, the job is basically over. That “ pre- planned” areas of responsibility rarely get exercised because of the time factor other than that units speciality like Fire department, EMS, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #215 ·
Edit: Steve just beat me to it.

I’m a little surprised the School District Officers didn’t have their own emergency access keys, fobs, or codes. They certainly should have had them.
They probably do….to the schools they are assigned. No one seems was assigned to this school.
Housing and Transit cops know… keys are life. Even if it’s just the key to use the bathroom.
And another question is, is there a master key or are all the classroom locks individual keys. An SRO can’t carry that many keys for every class room for every school if that is the case
 

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I’d be interested to know the SRO chief’s experience, as well as the SROs for the school district. Any experience at a decent-sized PD or SO, perennial school officer, only worked small town with low crime, high speed big city? How much time did he spend as a patrol sergeant and lieutenant before becoming chief? What’s the biggest team he ever supervised?

And what kind of training did the SROs have? Up-to-date training or just the same old same old with low-speed stuff? Do they stay in house or send their guys to top-tier instructors?
 
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They probably do….to the schools they are assigned. No one seems was assigned to this school.
Housing and Transit cops know… keys are life. Even if it’s just the key to use the bathroom.
And another question is, is there a master key or are all the classroom locks individual keys. An SRO can’t carry that many keys for every class room for every school if that is the case
This is probably another one of those variables. There were six schools and the district admin building in the city my last agency covered. The officers had keys or accesss codes to each of them, including interior doors. I realize this isn’t practical everywhere, but a key should have been accessible sooner than it seems to have been. They were the School District Police Department, after all. We didn’t even have such a thing in my state except for the universities.
 

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Discussion Starter · #218 ·
I’d be interested to know the SRO chief’s experience, as well as the SROs for the school district. Any experience at a decent-sized PD or SO, perennial school officer, only worked small town with low crime, high speed big city? How much time did he spend as a patrol sergeant and lieutenant before becoming chief? What’s the biggest team he ever supervised?

And what kind of training did the SROs have? Up-to-date training or just the same old same old with low-speed stuff? Do they stay in house or send their guys to top-tier instructors?

It looks like he knew the department as a former cop there.
But frankly this is an issue of mind set. His department did have “ assertive and pro-active “ officers- does this mind set sound familiar- like Sheriff Iseraeli ‘s department in the Parkland shooting.
Uvalde CISD police leadership needs to go, Natsec expert says

Type of officers border patrol still has but the type that is being forced out by woke policies
 

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I’d be interested to know the SRO chief’s experience, as well as the SROs for the school district. Any experience at a decent-sized PD or SO, perennial school officer, only worked small town with low crime, high speed big city? How much time did he spend as a patrol sergeant and lieutenant before becoming chief? What’s the biggest team he ever supervised?

And what kind of training did the SROs have? Up-to-date training or just the same old same old with low-speed stuff? Do they stay in house or send their guys to top-tier instructors?



Also:
In March, Arredondo posted on Facebook his department was hosting an "Active Shooter Training" at Uvalde High School in an effort to prepare local law enforcement to respond to "any situation that may arise." A flyer for the event he posted stated topics covered would include priorities for school-based law enforcement and how to "Stop the Killing."
Arredondo previously served as a captain at a school district police department in Laredo, Texas, and in multiple roles at the Uvalde Police Department.

Arredondo has 27 years of active law enforcement experience and joins the district from Laredo United Independent School District where he served as captain.
His previous experience includes serving in the Uvalde Police Department, where he advanced to the rank of assistant chief of police and the Webb County Sheriff’s office.

He was also recently elected a seat on Uvalde’s city council. Wonder how that might work out now?
 

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In addition to wanting to know the SROs' training experience, etc... I also wonder how close a relationship the SRO chief had with the town and school. On the one hand, being emotionally close can cause one to act. OTOH, I wonder if he thought about how the community would react if he charged in and more kids were then killed. How would the parents react?

The lull in the shooting might have convinced the chief he made the right decision. His relationship with the community might have caused his inaction and froze his ability to be nimble and decisive in taking action.

What's the leadership doctrine if you're the scene commander where your own family are the hostages/victims?
 
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