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Uvalde School Police Chief Resigns From City Council


Chief Pete Arredondo. | Image by Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.

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Uvalde school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo has resigned from the city council just weeks after being sworn in to the position. The resignation comes amid criticism Arredondo has incurred regarding his role in the police response to the Robb Elementary mass shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

“After much consideration, I regret to inform those who voted for me that I have decided to step down as a member of the city council for District 3. The mayor, the city council, and the city staff must continue to move forward without distractions. I feel this is the best decision for Uvalde,” Arredondo said in a resignation letter he sent to the City.

The Uvalde Leader-News first reported Arredondo’s plans to resign on Friday. He was elected to the District 3 council position on May 7 and was sworn in on May 31, just a week after the massacre.

Arredondo’s resignation from the city council “is the right thing to do,” the City said in a news release from Saturday responding to the Leader-News’ report, but before receiving the chief’s resignation letter.

The police response to the school shooting has been the subject of intense scrutiny and criticism, including from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). The criticism has centered on the amount of time that elapsed between the 18-year-old gunman entering the school and officers entering the classrooms and killing the gunman.

Texas DPS Director Col. Steven McCraw testified at a state Senate hearing last month that there were sufficient armed police at the scene to stop the gunman three minutes after he entered the school.

However, police officers with rifles waited in the school hallway for more than an hour. McCraw added that the classroom door where the gunman was could not be locked from the inside, and there was no indication that police attempted to open the door.

Arredondo made “terrible decisions” as the massacre unfolded on May 24, said McCraw, adding that the police response was an “abject failure.”

“The only thing stopping a hallway of dedicated officers from entering room 111 and 112 was the on-scene commander who decided to place the lives of officers before the lives of children,” McCraw said.

The Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District placed Arredondo on administrative leave from his job as school district police chief last week. He attempted to defend his role in the police response, telling the Texas Tribune on June 9 that he did not consider himself the on-scene commander and assumed someone else had taken charge.

Arredondo said he did not have his police and campus radios but used his cellphone to call for tactical gear, a sniper, and the keys to the classroom. Officials have declined to release more details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Arredondo, 50, grew up in Uvalde and spent much of his 30-year career in law enforcement in the city.

In his letter, Arredondo said, “as we continue to grieve over the tragedy that occurred on May 24th, we pray for the families affected and our entire community.”

“Uvalde has a rich history of loving and supporting thy neighbor and we must continue to do so. In speaking with other communities that have had similar tragedies, the guidance has been the same — continue to support the families, continue to support our community and, above all, to keep strong in our faith,” he wrote.

“As I think about my life, from growing up as a child and into adulthood, Uvalde has held an attraction that is incredibly unique. At the center of that attraction, is our community members. Together, we will keep Uvalde strong,” the letter added.

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ed lopez
ed lopez
5 months ago

Abbott, Patrick, and Cruz blamed Arredondo for the massacre they caused by a lack of support for gun control policies. Arredondo is basically a school crossing guard not equipped or trained to deal with the situation.