Uvalde police chief wins appeal to upgrade termination record

As school district police chief and a member of the city council, Pedro “Pete” Moreno Arredondo was a community leader in Uvalde, Texas, a respected figure. In the roughly two months since 19 children and two teachers were massacred at Robb Elementary School, Arredondo first failed to appear at city council meetings and then ultimately resigned from the council July 1 amid public pressure. And, while Arredondo was not fired by Friday, the school board first agreed to meet in a special session on Saturday to consider the question then canceled the meeting at the request of Arredondo’s lawyer. Instead, minutes before the meeting of the Uvalde school board got underway, Arredondo’s attorney released a scathing 4,500-word letter that amounted to the police chief’s fullest defense to date of his actions.

  1. When any law enforcement officer is fired in Texas, the firing agency submits a termination report to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement classifying the firing as dishonorable, general or honorable.
  2. Abbott lauded law enforcement agencies for their “amazing courage” and said the actions of police officers were the reason the shooting was “not worse.” McCraw said a school resource officer had “engaged” the shooter outside the building but was unable to stop him from entering.
  3. He said decisive commanders are especially important when multiple agencies respond to an incident and are unsure how to work together.
  4. According to the Uvalde Leader News, Arredondo’s first job in law enforcement was working as a 911 dispatcher for the Uvalde Police Department.
  5. That kind of waiting runs counter to the best practices for officers in active shooting situations, says J.

On Tuesday, McCraw told lawmakers that some time before the shooting, one of the teachers who taught in the conjoined classrooms where the shooting happened had told the school’s administration that doors to the classroom would not lock. McCraw also said that the classroom doors could not have been locked from the inside, indicating they would have been open if officers had tried to enter the room. This outlined that the district police department chief should be the person in control of the scene, should secure the administration office as a command post if possible and designate an alternate post if not, and work to communicate with other responding officers.

The records obtained by the Times offered other new details, including that the gunman, Salvador Ramos, had a “hellfire” trigger device meant to allow a semiautomatic AR-15-style rifle to be fired more like an automatic weapon, but did not appear to have used it during the attack. Ramos had spent more than $6,000 amassing an arsenal of weapons that included two AR-15-style rifles, accessories and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, according to the documents. In a statement Thursday, school board president Luis Fernandez said Arredondo was fired based on Harrell’s recommendation. However, according to the district’s own progress reports, as of Tuesday no fencing had been erected at six of the eight campuses where it was planned, and cameras had only been installed at the high school. Some progress had been made on locks at three of eight campuses, and communication improvement was marked as half complete for each campus.

Families of those who lost their lives during the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, are demanding accountability from law enforcement after the Austin American-Statesman published a photo of armed police in a hallway, outside the classrooms where 19 children and two teachers were killed. According to McCraw, “a barrage, hundreds of rounds were pumped in in four minutes” by Ramos into two classrooms right at the beginning, so it was believed there were no more people alive inside the classroom. Any gunfire after that was “sporadic.” Both classroom doors were locked on the inside, he said. Eight years before Uvalde school Police Chief Pete Arredondo led the controversial law enforcement response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School, he was demoted from a high-ranking position at the Webb County Sheriff’s Office, according to reporting by a local news outlet Thursday.

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Arredondo “couldn’t get along with people,” Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar told the San Antonio Express-News, according to the report. Cuellar also said that he demoted Arredondo from assistant chief to commander in 2014. He also said doors were left open so routinely that he https://accounting-services.net/ and the Uvalde city police had a standing arrangement for dealing with it. After graduating from Uvalde High School as part of the class of 1990, Arredondo completed a police training academy at an area junior college then transferred to Texas A&M’s Commerce, Texas, campus.

How Uvalde Schools Police Chief Pete Arredondo Went From Local Public Servant to National Pariah

Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, has said the school police chief, who he described as the incident commander, made the “wrong decision” to not order officers to breach the classroom more quickly to confront the gunman. Arredondo had already been climbing the ranks of the Uvalde police department for about six years when the nation was shaken by the crime that marked the beginning of the modern era of mass shootings in schools. In 1999, when a pair of teens killed 12 students and one teacher in suburban Columbine, Colo., much of the damage was inflicted even as officers gathered outside. Columbine became a byword for a distinctly American form of danger and, in the law-enforcement world, the need for immediate efforts to confront active shooters. Soon a number of parents stood at a podium and demanded various things from members of the board seated on an elevated stage.

DOJ’s Uvalde report finds “unimaginable failure” in school shooting response. Here are the key takeaways.

“He would always tell me, ‘You really ought to consider this,’ whenever I had a plan of attack on something or other, and there were times that I would disagree with him and do it my way,” Wieser said. Lake County Prosecutor Bernie Carter said he and Arredondo go way back to his days as a Superior Court judge. He remembered Arredondo as an eloquent speaker who would explain his rulings to both sides when making a judgment; even if you did not like how he ruled, his explanation was always very soothing for the practicing attorneys. “My mom died protecting her students. But who was protecting my mom?” said Lyliana Garcia, the daughter of Irma Garcia, one of the two teachers who died trying to protect their students. The evidence is being presented to a public Texas Senate hearing in Austin on Tuesday. “We have people in our community being buried, so we’re going to be respectful.”

The decision does not enable Arredondo to get his job in Uvalde back, but it clears his record in the event he seeks employment at another agency.

When any law enforcement officer is fired in Texas, the firing agency submits a termination report to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement classifying the firing as dishonorable, general or honorable. The officer can then appeal to upgrade the classification through the State Office of Administrative Hearings. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news conference after the report was released Thursday that some families had been told that loved ones had survived when they did not. The shooter fired 45 rounds “in the presence of officers” before being killed, the report said. Arredondo discarded radios, causing communication difficulties, the report said, and leadership at the scene did not establish command posts, so arriving personnel did not receive accurate updates. Arredondo’s attorney, George E. Hyde, told the Tribune for Thursday’s story that Arredondo could not do an interview on the day the Rangers asked because he was covering shifts for his officers.

According to the Uvalde Leader News, Arredondo’s first job in law enforcement was working as a 911 dispatcher for the Uvalde Police Department. Ruiz was married to Eva Mireles, a teacher who died in the massacre, according to Reuters. The family of Xavier Lopez, 10, said the boy had been shot in the back and lost a lot of blood as he waited for medical attention. Neither Arredondo or Cuellar, or officials with the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, immediately responded to ABC News’ requests for comment. Cuellar, the Webb County sheriff who demoted Arredondo in 2014, told the San Antonio Express-News that Arredondo “exaggerated a little bit” his role in the hostage negotiations he mentioned in his application to Laredo.

Arredondo Once Worked as a 911 Dispatcher in Uvalde, Rising in the Police Department

Thinking he was the first officer to arrive and wanting to waste no time, Arredondo believed that carrying the radios would slow him down. The other had a clip that Arredondo knew would cause it to fall off his tactical belt during a long run. Arredondo’s explanations don’t fully address all the questions that have been raised. The Tribune spoke to seven law enforcement experts about Arredondo’s description of the police response. In his first extended comments since the May 24 massacre, the deadliest school shooting in Texas history, Arredondo gave The Texas Tribune an account of what he did inside the school during the attack. He answered questions via a phone interview and in statements provided through his lawyer, George E. Hyde.

What does Arredondo mean?

When they arrived at the crash scene, they saw a man with a gun exit the passenger side of the car with a backpack. “I worked patrol, worked as detective, …and received assignment as assistant chief, ” said Arredondo, to the newspaper, which added that he also worked at the Webb County Sheriff’s OFfice. “People are going to ask why we’re taking so long,” said the man, according to a transcript of officers’ body camera footage obtained by the newspaper. “For example, open doors that they find throughout the night, I’ll handle with the respective campus. You know, you got some open doors please handle with your staff, anything that happens obviously,” Arredondo said. One exchange between McCraw and State Senator Roland Gutierrez—a Democrat who represents a district that includes Uvalde, and who has since filed suit against DPS seeking more information about what happened that day—seemed to capture the tension.

In a stunning reversal at a news conference the next day, the DPS regional director for the area, Victor Escalon, retracted McCraw’s initial claim and said the gunman “was not confronted by anybody” before entering the school. Border Patrol agents ignored a directive spoken into their earpieces not to enter the room. The Times has since reported that Arredondo did not object when the team entered the room. Without any way to get into the classroom, officers in the arredondo & cabriales llc hallway waited desperately for a way to secure entry and did the best they could to otherwise advance their goal of saving lives. Almost immediately, Arredondo teamed up with a Uvalde police officer and began checking classrooms, looking for the gunman. An ABC News investigation based on call recordings and body camera footage found that Pargas knew children were alive in the room with the shooter for at least 30 minutes before police made entry to save them.

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