Mass Shootings

Uvalde School Officials Think Hiring Even More Cops Is the Solution

Robb Elementary didn't need additional cops; it needed the cops on hand to actually do their jobs.


In the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary that left 19 kids and two adults dead, Uvalde district officials have come up with a plan to make their schools ostensibly safer: Hire more police officers.

"It is our goal to hire additional officers to be assigned to each campus for the upcoming school year," said Hal Harrell, superintendent of Uvalde schools, during a press conference on Thursday.

But there's no reason to think that Uvalde schools employed an insufficient number of police officers. When the shooter, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, entered the school, locked himself inside a fourth-grade classroom, and proceeded to indiscriminately murder children, 19 cops quickly arrived on the scene. They had the gunman completely outnumbered. And in any case, police training instructs officers to confront a mass shooter as speedily as possible, without waiting for background. The problem wasn't too few cops; the problem was the cops didn't do anything.

In fact, it was a Border Patrol team that finally—after more than an hour—ignored the on-scene commander's orders to wait, entered the classroom, and killed Ramos. Meanwhile, police officers harassed, restrained, and arrested parents who were trying to rescue their kids themselves. Robb Elementary didn't need additional cops, it needed the cops on hand to actually do their jobs.

Uvalde represents one of the most stunning failures in police history, but it is not a failure born of insufficient personnel. With dying children calling 911 and begging the cops to intervene as desperate parents tried to free themselves from the clutches of law enforcement in order to help, Uvalde's on-scene commander, Pete Arredondo, decided to wait. And wait. And wait. This was gut-wrenching incompetence—not a lack of cops.