Texas police chiefs share recommendations with joint committee after Uvalde school shooting

On Thursday, members of law enforcement addressed a joint legislative committee regarding school safety in light of the deadly Uvalde school shooting

Thursday’s hearing, following in the footsteps of other committee hearings this week, focused on strategies to prevent acts of violence along with better coordination between state and local agencies, non-governmental entities and law enforcement.

The president of the Texas Police Chiefs Association opened with an apology. 

"That day in Uvalde the law enforcement community failed you and we must do better," said Chief Jimmy Perdue of the North Richland Hills Police Department. "As the representation for this association, and before I give my prepared comments, I need to issue an apology and say that I’m sorry."

Six police chiefs, including Chief Stan Standridge of the San Marcos Police Department, laid out a range of recommendations to committee members. 

In his comments, Chief Standridge requested that school threats be recorded in a central database so that even if the student switches school districts that information is not lost. 

He also asked that ALERRT, or Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, be mandated statewide. Chief Standridge, an 18-year adjunct instructor for the program, called it the "gold standard." 

The program was launched out of San Marcos in 2002 in response to the 1999 Columbine shooting.

"So we testified today that legislation needs to be passed that mandates ALERRT Level One at minimum, which is 16 hours, so that all peace officers across the state are on the same page," said Chief Standridge in an interview with FOX 7.

Other recommendations provided Thursday included better mental health response, bi-annual active attack management training for command-level officers, and more collaboration between school districts and law enforcement. 

"Too often we try to put this in an easy box, and we try to say it's a firearms issue or it's a mental health issue, but the reality is it's an everything issue and it's an everyone issue," said Chief Standridge.