No more Uvaldes: More training, money needed for officers

On Balance with Leland Vittert

(NewsNation) — Less than a month after the Uvalde Elementary School shooting that left 21 dead, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety condemned the police response as an “abject failure,” saying that police never checked a door to a classroom the gunman was in to see if it was locked.

The comments were just a sample of the testimonies that took place at the state Senate hearing on the police handling of the tragedy Tuesday, where it was ultimately determined enforcement authorities had enough officers on the scene of the Uvalde school massacre to have stopped the gunman three minutes after he entered the building.

Former Superintendent-in-Chief of the Boston Police Department, Daniel Linksey, joined “On Balance with Leland Vittert” on Tuesday to discuss what kind of training officers will need going forward.

When asked if more money or training would be a solution going forward, Linksey answered yes to both. He says officers need to be trained in how they’re going to respond in real-time, so that they will respond the way they’re trained.

Furthermore, Linksey said he’s been on the phone with some former members of lead SEAL and Delta Frce teams, who’ve formed a nonprofit looking to raise funds to train police officers for those types of critical moments.

“It is gut wrenching to see the photographs of officers with shields and rifle standing by. I don’t know why they didn’t go in. But I suspect they were never trained,” Linksey said Tuesday evening.

When pushed backed that the officers did receive training — as public records in Uvalde examined by NewsNation show about $435,000 of the school district’s $40 million budget for 2021-22 went toward “security and monitoring” services, including the employment of six officers to protect and monitor the schools — Linksey was steadfast in his assertion, saying they did not receive the right type of training.

“You can’t train every cop the way you train SEAL Team Six, but you can train every cop to (avoid) a mental hijack — where you’re sitting in stressful situation and you freeze,” Linksey said.

“The difference between officers who are effective in responding to … this and military members who are effective in responding (to) calls like this” is training, he said. “You know, take those cleansing, breaths and go into action.”

Watch the rest of the discussion above.

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