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(UVALDE, Texas) – ABC News has confirmed that a former Texas state trooper currently under investigation for his conduct in response to the May 24 Uvalde school shooting is among new officers hired for the Uvalde School District Police Department – the same force that came under fire for the failed response to the massacre.
The news was first reported by CNN.
CNN reported Wednesday night that the former soldier was Crimson Elizondo, the first member of the Texas Department of Public Safety to enter the hallway at Robb Elementary School after the shooter entered. A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation confirmed CNN’s report.
The soldier did not bring his rifle or vest into the school, according to the results of an internal review by DPS that was detailed to ABC News. Due to the potential non-compliance with standard procedures, the soldier was among five DPS personnel whose conduct is currently under investigation by the agency’s inspector general. All five were suspended; the rider in question quit the DPS and went to work for Uvalde Schools.
Elizondo is the second officer listed on the district police webpage.
The official said the DPS was not contacted by staff at the Uvalde school before hiring the former soldier.
DPS declined to comment. The Uvalde School District did not respond to a request for comment. The soldier declined to comment to CNN.
Nineteen students and two teachers were killed in the May massacre. Some families of the dead have banded together to form a group called Lives Robbed.
In a statement late Wednesday, the group said, “We are disgusted and angry at the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District’s (UCISD) decision to hire Crimson Officer Elizondo. His hiring calls into question the credibility and rigor of UCISD’s HR and auditing practices.And it confirms what we have been saying all along: UCISD is not and is not in the business of keeping our children safe at school . »
The statement continued: “We cannot trust the decisions that have been made regarding the safety of our schools. Therefore, we call for the suspension of all UCISD officers, pending the conclusion of the investigation by JPPI Investigations LLC. The results of this investigation must be made public to the families of the victims of the Robb Elementary shooting, as well as the public. Our families have demanded accountability, and we deserve transparency and justice at the state, local levels. Our children have We will not stop fighting until we have answers and ensure that the safety of children in our community is the top priority.
Questions have also been raised about the district’s pre-hire vetting of Pete Arredondo, the former district police chief who was blamed for much of the failed firing response and was fired. because of this. He had been demoted in a previous job, and critics argue that work history was not considered when the district hired him to lead its police force.
The practice of police officers changing jobs and jurisdictions despite concerns raised in previous posts has become a nationwide concern. Some have called for the creation of national standards and databases that would allow potential employers to quickly know if a cop has anything potentially disqualifying in their work history.
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