Austin TX — At this time, The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, or CLEAT, is advising our members to cooperate fully with all official governmental investigations into actions relating to the law enforcement response to the Uvalde mass shooting. Our President, Executive Director, staff attorneys, and union field representatives have been in communication with officers in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.
Out of respect for the investigative process, the grieving families, and law enforcement as a whole, we have refrained from commenting on specifics related to the massacre of school children in Uvalde, Texas. We share in the collective and powerful oscillating feelings of absolute grief, horror, sympathy, frustration, and outrage over the loss of so many promising, beautiful lives, the loss of innocence of the survivors, and the lack of solid answers, some of which will never seem satisfactory and others we may never have.
There has been a great deal of false and misleading information in the aftermath of this tragedy. Some of the information came from the very highest levels of government and law enforcement. Sources that Texans once saw as iron-clad and completely reliable have now been proven false. This false information has exacerbated ill-informed speculation which has, in turn, created a hotbed of unreliability when it comes to finding the truth. The truth we all can trust. For this reason, we believe that a strong, independent investigation by the U. S. Department of Justice with assistance from the FBI will discover what really happened, thus helping agencies everywhere to understand how best to stop a similar compounded tragedy from happening again.
As a law enforcement organization, we stand behind those professionals who put an end to the assault on Robb Elementary. Without the officers who breached the door and took out the murderer, this already devastating event would have lasted longer and more children would have been lost. We would also like to acknowledge those who are assisting on the ground in Uvalde to help the community heal and those who have increased presence at schools and institutions nationwide. We thank you for taking your role in the protection of your communities seriously, with an honor and dedication befitting the badge.
Last legislative session, we testified in committee about the disparity in training across the State of Texas. While our large cities and urban counties have ample resources and state-of-the-art training, our rural areas suffer. Officers and Deputies are vetted, hired, and trained by political subdivisions and they perform to the level of their training. Training IS confidence. Law enforcement agencies in Texas are para-military and operate in a chain-of-command structure. We are committed to our rank and file members in Uvalde and committed to ensuring all officers who wear the badge are provided with ALL tools and training required to carry out the most dangerous of missions.
Officers swear an oath to protect and serve in a para-military setting where they, as individuals, do not get to make the final decisions. As we continue to wait for the remaining facts on scene to be revealed, we already know that we need more proper funding for fusion centers, more officers conducting threat assessments, a permanent renewal of the heavy, rifle resistant vests, and active cooperation of the federal government. We share a unique connection with the public in pushing for the strongest, best trained, and highly qualified force of law enforcement professionals.
Media Contact: CLEAT Public Affairs firstname.lastname@example.org
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