Uvalde School District Suspends School Police, 2 School Officials Placed on Administrative Leave


The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District said Friday it had suspended its school police, less than five months after the attack that killed 19 children and two teachers.

“The district has made the decision to suspend all CISD Uvalde Police Department activities for a period of time. Officers currently employed will fill other roles in the district,” the district said in a statement.

Additionally, Lt. Miguel Hernandez and Ken Mueller were placed on administrative leave, with Mueller opting to retire, according to the statement.

“The district has requested the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide additional troops for on-campus and extracurricular activities,” the district said. “We are confident that the safety of staff and students will not be compromised during this transition.”

The district cited unspecified “recent developments” that “unveiled additional issues with departmental operations.”

The moves come in the wake of a CNN report on Wednesday that identified newly hired Uvalde school officer Crimson Elizondo as one of the state troopers under investigation. for his actions during the response to the Robb Elementary School massacre in May.

The school district released a statement Thursday, following The CNN reportannouncing Elizondo’s termination.

Following the CNN report, the school district the superintendent has informed the staff of his intention to retire.

Superintendent Hal Harrell told district staff that Monday’s school board meeting will include a closed session to “discuss superintendent’s retirement options and transition,” according to an email obtained by CNN.

Elizondo was among the first of 91 DPS agents to arrive at the school that day. She was among 376 law enforcement personnel who responded as the shooter remained for 77 minutes, with dead, dying and traumatized victims, before being arrested. The response to the attack was denounced as a “dismal failure” and blame has spread widely.

The school’s police chief has been fired and seven DPS officers are currently under investigation. CNN exclusively reported that Elizondo is one of the officers under investigation. A source familiar with the investigation also confirmed this to CNN.

So far, the only person known to have lost his job as a result of the response to the shooting is School Police Chief Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, who was fired by the school board in August. Arredondo became the figurehead of the failed response, although he said he did not consider himself the incident commander and called to be reinstated.

Sources familiar with the investigation confirmed to CNN that Elizondo is one of seven officers whose conduct is being investigated by the DPS, but neither their names nor their conduct during the response have been reported. been made public.

Elizondo was not properly equipped and told investigators she was not comfortable entering the school without her gear, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

She no longer works for DPS. Over the summer, Elizondo was hired as an officer for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, where her role was to protect some of the same children who survived the Robb Elementary shooting.

Elizondo declined to speak with CNN in person, on the phone or by direct message.

Footage from police body cameras and those of other officers seen by CNN shows Elizondo arriving on the outskirts of the school as one of the first officers to respond. She gets out of her official vehicle but does not retrieve any tactical body armor or her long rifle, as officers are trained to do. Elizondo briefly walked inside the building but mostly stood outside.

The school district said it wants to recruit 10 more officers after the attack. It did not specifically announce Elizondo’s hiring over the summer, although the names and photos of her and four other police officers, a lieutenant and a security guard appear on its website, under the “KEEP UCID SAFE” banner.

Harrell told a special town hall meeting in August that at least 33 DPS officers would also be deployed to the district’s eight schools.

After residents feared that the officers who failed to stop the killing would be put in charge of school security, parent Brett Cross told CNN he was assured that the deployed DPS officers would not would not have responded to the shooting.

“Our children have been taken from us. We will not stop fighting until we have answers and ensure that the safety of children in our community is the top priority,” said a statement from the district’s student family representatives.

Texas DPS last month launched a internal review of its employees who responded to the school shooting.

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