11 months ago

AUG 2022. Blues Vol 38 No. 8.

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  • Michael barron
  • Rex evans
  • Help wanted
  • Police positions
  • Aftermath
  • War stories
  • Sante fe
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  • Wwwbluespdmagcom
  • Uvalde
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AUG 2022. Blues Vol 38 No. 8. FEATURES 34 UVALDE - What Really Happened. 42 UVALDE - We Stopped Looking for Heroes 48 COVER - Michelle Cook-True Passion for Service 62 Visit Galveston Island this Summer DEPARTMENTS 6 Publisher’s Thoughts 8 Editor’s Thoughts 10 Guest Commentary - Bill King 14 News Around the US 34 Breaking News 58 Calendar of Events 68 Remembering Our Fallen Heroes 80 War Stories 84 Aftermath 86 Open Road 88 Healing Our Heroes 90 Daryl’s Deliberations 94 HPOU - From the President, Douglas Griffith 96 Light Bulb Award 98 Running 4 Heroes 100 Blue Mental Health with Dr. Tina Jaeckle 102 Ads Back in the Day 106 Parting Shots 108 Buyers Guide 128 Now Hiring - L.E.O. Positions Open in Texas 166 Back Page


AROUND THE COUNTRY “WE STOPPED LOOKING FOR HEROES” Former school police chief in Uvalde ‘disappointed’ by law enforcement failures. By Alfredo Corchado DALLAS MORNING NEWS UVALDE, TX — He’s sat with grieving family members at funerals and accompanied them to ongoing wakes to honor victims of one of the most gruesome school mass shootings in the country’s history. Last week, Leo Flores — known as Chato — witnessed angry parents call on their school board members to resign, deriding them as cowards and demanding accountability in the wake of the massacre at Robb Elementary School that left 21 dead. Flores fidgeted uncomfortably — his anxiety rising. “I know one thing: Had I still been at the school, I wouldn’t be alive today,” he said. “For sure.” “As a mother, I would have expected more dead officers and more children alive,” added his wife, Melissa, 37. “If he had been there ... I wouldn’t have a husband today. I’d be a widow.” Flores, 37, is the former Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District police chief, replaced in 2020 by Pete Arredondo, who is facing intense criticism for not immediately storming the classroom and instead trying to negotiate with an active shooter. A school board meeting set for Saturday July 20, to decide whether Arredondo should be fired was delayed after his lawyer raised concerns. Among the 19 students killed was Flores’ niece, Eliahana Torres — Eli to her best friend and cousin, Unica Alicia Flores, the daughter of Flores and his wife. The couple have been at just about every post-shooting meeting, accompanying Melissa’s sister after the shooting, forming a tight family support system around her. “My niece was there so yes, I wish I had been there,” Flores said, and pausing through every word, he added “Every … Single … Day.” Nearly two months after the state’s deadliest school shooting, Uvalde remains a town filled with regret. Grief transformed into fury, following a leaked 77-minute video showing footage of cops mostly standing along the hallway inside the school, waiting for someone to take command of a chaotic situation, waiting for instructions to attack an 18-year-old gunman who killed 19 students and two teachers. The week culminated with the special House subcommittee 77- page report, the most exhaustive account yet of the tragedy that detailed a “systemic failure of egregious poor decision making” by nearly everyone in power, every one of the 376 law enforcement officers who descended on the school. Flores read the report extra carefully, complete with the expected “Could have. Would have. Should have.” He created the school district’s original police department, trained staff for active shooter situations, and tried keeping teachers on their toes. After reading the report, he said he was at a loss for words. “Disappointed.” “You take an oath to protect and serve,” he said, adding “In an active shooter situation, you eliminate the threat at all costs. If it’s you, the one that’s killed, or the guy behind you, or the one behind him, the threat is eliminated in a timely matter. I’ve been through a door where I didn’t know what was on the other side numerous times. ... It’s just what you signed up to do. 42 The BLUES The BLUES 43

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