UVALDE, Texas – The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District announced Friday the extraordinary move that it suspended its entire police force amid continuing fallout over officers’ failed response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in May that left two teachers and 19 students dead, according to a reports.
“Recent developments have uncovered additional concerns with department operations,” the school district said in a statement. “As a result of the recent developments, Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Ken Mueller have been placed on administrative leave, and the District has made the decision to suspend all activities of the Uvalde CISD Police Department for a period of time. Officers currently employed will fill other roles in the district.”
Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Public Safety is responding to requests from the district to be stationed on school campuses and provide security at extra-curricular activities, according to the statement, NBC DFW reported.
“We are confident that staff and student safety will not be compromised during this transition,” the school district said.
The school district’s board of trustees voted unanimously to fire school Police Chief Pete Arredondo in August, Law Officer previously reported.
The timeframe of the suspensions remains unclear as the grieving Texas town seems determined to punish officers for hesitating more than 70 minutes to confront the 18-year-old gunman in the fourth-grade classroom.
Most notably, Arredondo was harshly criticized for not ordering officers to act sooner as he tried to deflect responsibility in the aftermath, claiming he didn’t know he was the incident commander.
The suspensions also come on the heels of the recent hiring and immediate firing of a school district police officer after it became public that she was one of the first state troopers to arrive at Robb Elementary in May, reported The Texas Tribune.