The FBI Says This Change Is Needed Across The Nation
(UnitedVoice.com) – America endured another senseless gun shooting on Tuesday, May 24, leaving people with far more questions than there are answers. As the details emerge regarding an 18-year-old gunman’s entry into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, it appears as though law enforcement may not have acted promptly to protect the children and teachers in harm’s way. In total, 19 children and two teachers died over two hours.
On Monday, May 30, retired FBI agent Katherine Schweit wrote an op-ed in the New York Times. Schweit organized and directed the FBI’s active shooter program. She noted that in 2021, the FBI said there were 61 active shooter attacks. That was up from 40 in 2020 and 30 in 2019. Still, she said that while the number of attacks is rising, few people are dying from them. Yet, the shootings in Uvalde revealed local law enforcement might have serious problems that escalated the situation.
Schweit Evaluates Police Response
The former FBI agent said that while federal law enforcement officials are better at responding quickly to active shootings, something went wrong with local law enforcement in Uvalde. Axios said the shooter was inside the elementary school for nearly 80 minutes before law enforcement stopped the killer. So, why did it take so long?
Schweit said there might be several factors. For one, she questioned whether the Uvalde officers had enough training for mass shooting events. The former FBI agent noted that the Uvalde school district hosted two active shooter training events in the past two years. The last training was only two months ago.
According to Schweit, the police didn’t follow proper protocols. Officers must do everything possible to neutralize the suspect whenever a shooting event is underway, even if only one police officer is present. She noted the police department might not have received adequate training and didn’t seem prepared for the situation, which led to deadly consequences.
She said police officers need repetitive training exercises to build confidence in stressful moments. Schweit claimed officers need to develop muscle memory, and police don’t obtain that through large training events held every few years.
School Districts Not Immune From Criticism
Schweit didn’t just place blame on the local police department. She said school districts are also at fault. The former federal law enforcement official said school districts give lip service when it comes to training teachers and students on how to handle a shooter situation. Schweit noted that schools instruct teachers and other staff to lock doors and hide — but not run.
She said not running is a fatal mistake. In many instances, it makes the difference between living and dying.
In the days and weeks to come, numerous levels of government will conduct investigations to learn what happened and where things went wrong. This story will continue to develop.
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