LAFAYETTE PARISH, La. (KLFY) — Leaked surveillance video of the Robb Elementary mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, is sparking renewed questions about the police response.
The video shows officers did not enter the classrooms where the shooter killed 19 children and 2 teachers until over an hour after the first shots were fired.
As the video sparks new debate over the officers’ response, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff is speaking out.
Sheriff Mark Garber says he’s confident his deputies and school resource officers are ready for an active shooter situation.
Garber says it’s clear things went wrong in the police response to Robb Elementary in Uvalde, but that won’t happen in Lafayette Parish.
“I think the common consensus and certainly my take is that some things went wrong, that communication wasn’t clear, and the command intent was not followed. The command intent is that officers rush to the threat and neutralize the threat,” Sheriff Garber told News Ten.
He says 20 years ago, law enforcement agencies across the country changed their approach in active homicide situations.
Garber said officers used to be trained to contain, isolate, and negotiate.
“We, as a profession, realized we’re missing something here. We need to rush to the threat,” he said.
The sheriff says now, officers are trained to immediately eliminate the threat.
The leaked surveillance video from Robb Elementary shows officers waited over an over.
“The Lafayette Parish SRO program has training that is directly counter to what happened in Uvalde. We are to immediately go to the threat. We will bypass wounded persons to go and eliminate that threat to protect further loss of life and harm to other people,” Sheriff Garber said.
He says parents can rest assured knowing every school in Lafayette parish has at least one, highly-trained School Resource Officer, or SRO.
He adds that every year, and especially in the summer, SRO’s are retrained in advanced active shooter response techniques.
“We train with simunitions, which are projectiles that are fired from specially modified weapons, and they hurt when they hit bare skin. We trained them with scenarios on video, where we have them on video in the shooting simulators, if you will, and they have to respond correctly under pressure repeadtly in order to be deemed a certified SRO,” Sheriff Garber told News Ten.
He sheriff says they also have a real-time crime center that is now integrated with school system cameras. If there is ever an active shooter in a Lafayette Parish school, officers can track the suspect’s exact movement in real-time and tell the SRO where the suspect is heading.