The Uvalde, Texas, school district — has faced withering criticism over the failings of its police department both times. May 24 Primary School Massacre And — announced the suspension of the entire district police force on Friday.
And the district said the Texas Department of Public Safety has been asked to station troopers on campus and at extracurricular activities, adding, “We believe the safety of staff and students will not be compromised during this transition.”
The length of the school district police department’s suspension is unclear.
Lt. Miguel Hernandez, who was in charge of leading the department in the fallout from the attack, and Ken Mueller, director of student services for the Uvalde Unified Independent School District, were placed on administrative leave. Mueller elected to retire, according to the school district.
“The officers currently employed will also fill other positions in the district,” a school source said. According to the district’s website, it has four officers and one custodian.
The victims’ families were led by Brett Cross, the guardian of 10-year-old Uzia Garcia A 24-hour vigil outside school district headquarters calling for change. The family is now praising Friday’s announcement.
“They don’t know how to hire people, they don’t know how to supervise officers,” Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was killed at Robb Elementary, told ABC News. “They don’t provide proper training.”
Friday’s news is “what we’re asking for — it’s more than what we’re asking for,” he said.
Gloria Casarez, His 9-year-old daughter, Jackie, Killed, called Friday’s announcement “bittersweet.”
“It’s a win — a small win,” he told ABC News. “We’re not done.”
The school district’s action comes a day later The shooting of Crimson ElizandoAn officer employed by Uvalde’s school district is under investigation for impersonating a DPS trooper during the massacre that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers.
Elizondo was the first DPS member to enter the hallway at Robb Elementary School after the shooter entered. According to the results of an internal review by DPS, the trooper did not bring his firearm or clothing into the school.
The trooper is one of seven DPS employees now being investigated by the agency’s inspector general for allegedly failing to follow standard procedures. All seven were suspended, however, since Elizondo resigned from DPS to work in the Uvalde schools, he faced no further internal discipline or fines. His conduct — if found to be in violation of law or policy — will still be included in the DPS inspector general’s final report.
Officer Hernandez, the acting police chief, acknowledged receiving formal notification from DPS in July that Elizando was under investigation.
The results of investigations by the Texas Association of Chiefs of Police and private investigative agency JPBI Investigations are pending, but “recent developments have revealed additional concerns about department operations.”
The report said the results of the JPPI investigation “will inform future staffing decisions” and the Texas Association of Police Chiefs’ review “will guide the rebuilding of the department and the hiring of a new police chief.”
School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo, He was fired in August.
ABC News’ Patrick Linehan and Olivia Osteen contributed to this report.
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