The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which developed the training, certification, and course for the “Active Shooter Response for School-Based Law Enforcement,” says the course is a requirement for all police officers who work in schools and, in the wake of the mass shooting, will review the materials and see how to equip officers best.
The course manual details the priorities for school-based law enforcement and explicitly says that first responders “will usually be required to place themselves in harm’s way and display uncommon acts of courage to save the innocent.” Solo responses may also be required, especially in small and rural districts.
A “priority of life scale” ranks innocent victims at the top, followed by first responders and offenders. It also says, “a first responder unwilling to place the lives of the innocent above their own safety should consider another career field.”
“We explain that very clearly when we employ them,” Jacksonville ISD Police Chief Bill Avera told ABC13. “That your first priority is to protect life and limb on your campus and you could be the person doing that by yourself. We will get help to you as quickly as possible. Know the cavalry is coming but in the meantime, you’re the first responder.”
Avera is also on the Board of the Texas School Safety Center.
. In Uvalde, 19 officers entered the school but stayed in the hallway, DPS Director Steven McCraw said on Friday. Officials now believe some children were still alive.
The course training also says the first priority is to move in and confront the attacker, and only when the attacker is isolated and “can do no more harm’ is an officer not required to enter a room.
McCraw added that Uvalde ISD Police Chief Pete Arredondo, the incident commander, thought the shooter was taking hostages so they did not breach the classroom, which was the “wrong decision,” he said.
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