Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday ordered school districts across the state to undergo “active shooter training” after last month’s massacre in Uvalde.
In a letter to a statewide group of training experts, Abbott said he wants an emphasis on instruction for “school-based law enforcement” at all of the Lone Star State’s 1,022 districts in the wake of the May 24 mass shooting that left 19 fourth-graders and two teachers dead at Robb Elementary.
“Texas can benefit from the expertise that your organization offers,” the governor wrote to Peter Blair, director of Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, KSAT News reported.
“We sadly recognize we cannot do anything to bring back the precious lives that were taken,” Abbott said. “However, we must do everything in our power to prevent the same tragic ending from happening again.
A makeshift memorial outside of Robb Elementary School following the May 24 shooting.REUTERS
“An important part of these prevention efforts must focus on the proper training of law enforcement and school administrators on how to respond when they face the threat of an active shooter on their campus.”
The move comes amid probes by the Department of Justice and Texas Rangers into how local law enforcement responded to the horror.
Cops remained outside the elementary school for more than one hour after deranged 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos stormed the building, barricaded himself in adjoining classrooms and killed 21 people while wounding 17 others.
“We sadly recognize we cannot do anything to bring back the precious lives that were taken,” Abbott said.TANNEN MAURY/EPA-EFE/Shutterstoc
Police didn’t go inside even amid desperate 911 calls from youngsters trapped inside and the pleas of parents outside the school begging cops to do something.
Border Patrol agents eventually arrived at the scene and rushed the building, shooting Ramos dead.
Abbott said ALERRT, which is based at Texas State University, has trained more than 200,000 first-responders across the US and “provides the best research-based active shooter response training in the nation.”
Law enforcement has faced criticism for how they handled the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.AP
He is ordering the training to begin before the start of the next school year.
“This discussion will serve as a solemn reminder of the necessity for constant vigilance in every school hallway and classroom and the need for the active shooter training you provide,” he wrote in the letter.