Governor Greg Abbott this week sent a letter instructing Executive Director Dr. Pete Blair to begin providing Texas State University’s nationally-recognized Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) programs to all school districts across the state, prioritizing school-based law enforcement. Governor Abbott also requested ALERRT to provide an after-action debrief of the shooting at Uvalde once the investigation is complete and of other relevant situations to school administrators, law enforcement, and others charged with keeping our Texas schools safe.
“We sadly recognize we cannot do anything to bring back the precious lives that were taken; however, we must do everything in our power to prevent the same tragic ending from happening again,” reads the letter. “An important part of these prevention efforts must focus on the proper training of law enforcement and school administrators on how to respond when they face the threat of an active shooter on their campus. This vital training, which is delivered by veteran first responders with proven experience in active attack response and police training, will help law enforcement on school campuses better respond to these situations.”
ALERRT is designed to equip first responders with effective strategies to respond to active attack events. The ALERRT training is provided by veteran first responders in active attack response and has served over 200,000 first responders across the nation, according to Abbott. The program includes 16 hours of training in team movement, room entry techniques, approach and breaching the crisis, shooting and moving, as well as post engagement priorities of work. The vital training reportedly has been shown to shorten response times and strengthen law enforcement abilities. Training is aimed at equipping school-based law enforcement with the necessary skills and knowledge to respond to active shooting events in Texas public schools.
Read the Governor’s letter.
Governor Abbott also offered resources to the Uvalde community following the tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School. Those actions include:
- Initiating the State of Texas’ comprehensive plan to assist and support members of the community, including co-locating state agency representatives to the Family Assistance Center for on-hand assistance in finding benefits.
- Issuing a disaster declaration at the request of local leaders to accelerate all available state and local resources to assist the Uvalde community.
- Requesting Texas legislative leaders convene special legislative committees to begin examining and developing legislative recommendations on school safety, mental health, social media, police training, firearm safety, and more.
- Directing the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) to begin immediately conducting comprehensive school safety reviews to ensure all Texas public schools are following the appropriate procedures to maximize school safety.
- Directing the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide strategies to make Texas public schools safer through heightened safety standards.
- Investing an initial $5 million into establishing a long-term Family Resiliency Center (FRC) in Uvalde County to serve as a hub for community services, including access to the critical mental health resources.
- Working with the OneStar Foundation to create a one-stop webpage for donations to support the victims’ families, teachers, and the Uvalde community.
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