UVALDE, Texas – The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District is actively looking for an interim police chief as embattled top cop Pete Arredondo remains on unpaid administrative leave while he awaits a termination hearing, said Luis Fernandez, president of the school board, according to the Uvalde Hesperian.
Fernandez offered the update at a Rotary Club meeting last week. “We had 16 applicants for UCISD police department,” he said.
As the process continues, an interview committee is reviewing the candidates and assessing background checks, according to Fernandez.
Moreover, the board president also discussed safety and security measures being implemented for the upcoming school year, CBS 58 reported.
Fernandez said 30 to 40 Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will be assigned to Uvalde schools. He also confirmed the school district has focused on a property to replace Robb Elementary, and new fencing will be part of the security measures, according to the Hesperian.
District officials emphasized that students will not return to the site of the massacre as they cope with lingering trauma.
Law Officer reported last week that Arredondo had previously been demoted in 2014 while working for the Webb County Sheriff’s Office.
Arredondo “couldn’t get along with his coworkers, especially upper staff,” Sheriff Martin Cuellar said.
“The basic thing I want to say is he just didn’t fit the qualifications or the work that I set out for him,” Cuellar added.
In July Arredondo resigned from the Uvalde City Council less than a month after he was sworn into office amid heavy criticism for his role during the massacre of 21 people at the hands of an 18-year-old crazed gunman.