On Thursday, May 26, a request from the Texas Police Chief’s Association came down for officers to assist Uvalde public safety. The area was dealing with an influx of media, politicians, and public safety issues resulting from the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary. A request to APPD staff was sent out, and Harbor Safety & Enforcement Officer Jack McCarty and Detective Troy Poe immediately responded to the request, along with a few additional officers. Only able to send two, the first to respond were sent that evening at 5 pm. We would later see that we were joined by several law enforcement responders from the Coastal Bend area.
Public safety often has to pool resources and work together during major disasters and crises across the State and sometimes even across state lines. Individually, some events will be too great, so working together around the State is vital.
Upon their arrival, APPD officers coordinated with Dilley PD staff and their Chief of Police. Then, another request came in for telecommunicators (TCOs), so we deployed two of ours to team up and assist.
The following day approximately 25 more Peace Officers arrived to assist in Uvalde. Officers assisted with the Governor’s security detail, security at Robb Elementary school, security at the Uvalde Civic Center, and duties of the emergency operations command center.
APPD officers & TCOs primarily worked with EOC staff to coordinate the response of 217 officers from 73 different agencies throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Emergency operations are one of our officers’ specialties, having operated several EOC situations, both actual and simulated.
During APPD’s time in Uvalde, the needs of the community were great and the resources were stretched or far short. For example, for President Biden’s visit, the US Secret Service requested approximately 75 officers to assist in the security detail and motorcade route. Additionally, during that event, officers had to provide security for about 30 locations in the area.
On Sunday, the APPD officers and TCOs were relieved by fresh troops and prepared to return to Aransas Pass by the end of the day. Again, APPD staff reported being able to assist immensely during this event. They likewise took away an experience that will undoubtedly help evolve our public safety efforts here at home.
The recovery and security efforts in Uvalde continue to this date. In fact, as of yesterday, 5/31/2022, we have two TCOs on location assisting with the effort.