Head of CLEAT speaks out as Uvalde mayor, head of DPS share differing views on police response

At an Uvalde City Council meeting Tuesday, the mayor accused Texas Department of Public Safety Director Col. Steve McCraw of misleading the public about their response to the May 24 mass shooting.

"We had the Bozo the Clown show at the Senate today with McCraw and everybody was giving answers they still don't have the facts to," said Mayor Don McLaughlin.

The mayor in the past did acknowledge mistakes made by the Uvalde CISD chief and department, but also stated there is a lot of blame to be shared among Texas law enforcement.

"He didn’t talk about any other agencies that were there, they were there and also have accountability to everyone that was there, too," said McLaughlin.

McCraw testified before lawmakers and gave a timeline of events, according to the DPS.

"There is compelling evidence that the law enforcement response to the attack at Robb Elementary was an abject failure and antithetical to everything learned over the last two decades since the Columbine massacre," said McCraw on Tuesday.

The director also stated the response took entirely too long, and officers on scene should not have waited so long for backup.

"If you've got one officer that’s enough. You don’t have to wait for 11, 12, or 30," said McCraw.


"Babies are dead and there needs to be an exclamation and period after that sentence," said Charley Wilkison, executive director of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT).

The blame game is being played on a lot of fronts. The head of CLEAT said trust in police response may be tainted because of this.

"That's the only thing McCraw and I agree on, it'll be years and years before law enforcement digs their way out of this," he said.

Wilkison said agencies were not organized, and this incident gives good reason for law enforcement to review training and protocol.

"The legislature has allowed school districts to go in and create their own police departments. A few years ago those were SRO’s," he said.

Wilkison is referring to security resource officers.

"Was it a perfect storm waiting to happen where there were multiple agencies and there was absolute chaos on the ground, and the person in command is telling the press I didn’t know I was the commander?" said Wilkison.

He said committee hearings that are ongoing are all talk, and nothing can happen unless lawmakers are in session.