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Uvalde School District Searching for Interim Police Chief as Pete Arredondo Awaits Dismissal Trial

(CNN)With Chief Pete Arredondo on unpaid leave, the Uvalde Unified Independent School District is looking for an Interim Police Chief.A final hearing is pending,School Board Superintendent Hal Harrell said Monday.

"We continue to search and talk to various organizations for an interim police chief or interim team," Harrell said at a public meeting Monday night. . “We have four officers who have been recommended to hire. They are all out of town, look like very good candidates and have many years of experience.

Arredondo was heavily criticized for the killing of 19 children and two teachers in themassacre at Robb Elementary School inMay. After that, I was given unpaid leave. Authorities said Arredondo was the commander at the scene during the shooting, but the chief disputed this and said he did not believe he was responsible. The superintendent of schools recommended that Arredondo be fired amid growing anger from residents and families in the wake of the tragedy and calls for the mayor to be removed.

Arredondo's dismissal hearings have been postponed twice at the request of attorneys for due process rights. Most recently, the board postponed a meeting due to "scheduling conflicts," and the hearing was not held on August 4, the district said.A new hearing date has not been set at that time. did not.

Harrell also provided an update on the safety measures in place for the new school year. This includes purchasing at least 500 cameras for his school district, designated entry points for parents and visitors, and the continued installation of fences. It's unclear if the fence will be complete by the first day of school.

The school district recently completed an audit of his Wi-Fi to see what needs to be enhanced and is also getting estimates for security film and glass, Harrell said. Stated. He said the school district spent about $4.5 million this summer on security and community support from various sources.

The Texas Department of Public Safety officially agreed that he would place 33 police officers on Uvalde's school campus and would remain there for the entire school year, Harrell said. He added that each officer will be assigned to a designated campus.

Fernandez confirmed the school district had set its sights on a replacement property for Robb Elementary School, but the district said students would not return to, according to a Uvalde Hesperian report. I'm here.

In addition, Fernandez said districts would approach fire drills differently, using intercom systems instead of sirens, the paper reported.

CNN did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation and comment from the school district and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Following the massacre, a report from the Texas House Commission of Inquiry identified widespread failures throughout law enforcement in response during the shootings. The report also concluded that Arredondo was unable to assume responsibility as a field commander during the incident.
Responding officers arrived at the school within minutes of the shooters breaking into the building on May 24, but according tolaw enforcement broke into an adjacent classroom. It took him over an hour to kill the gunman. Timeline is from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"At Robb Elementary School, law enforcement responders failed to adhere to active marksmanship training and failed to put saving the lives of innocent victims ahead of their own safety." said the report, adding: He waited over an hour for his wounded victims to call for help, and the attackers sporadically continued to fire their weapons, which may have cost the leadership his life.

Arredondo responded to the authorities' statement that he was the chief police officer, saying that he "responded as a police officer" and did not consider himself responsible.

However, video footage from body-worn and security cameras showed that officers on the scene were unsure of their role during the filming and left it to Arredondo. {49 said it also shows that Arredondo is issuing orders and coordinating staff. } His CNN analysis of the footage.