Decades of research, training, learning, and evolving to respond to active shooters were ignored in the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school tragedy, former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton decried Sunday.
"All the things we learned about these types of instances, he basically didn't implement them," Bratton told Sunday's "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC 770 AM-N.Y., saying the local police chief should have moved in on the shooter immediately to save lives. "He opted to keep those 19 officers outside of that classroom."
Sources are now saying it took more than 40 minutes to move in on the contained shooter, costing lives, Bratton told host John Catsimatidis.
"There were 19 police officers – 19 is the number they gave out [Saturday] – in the hallways outside the classroom the shooter is now holed up," Bratton said. "And the fact the chief of police in a six-person department apparently opted to not to break into that classroom may have resulted in the deaths of more of these young people who effectively were wounded – the expression, an awful expression but [were] – bleeding out, dying literally, while they were standing outside the door.
"It's hard to put your arms around this, John."
Bratton said the Columbine shooting more than two decades ago delivered a response plan that centered around "go in toward the shooter," Bratton added.
"The expression we use in policing is 'move to the shooter,' effectively you create what we call a stack: Put 3 or 4 officers together in a coordinated fashion go in toward a shooter," he continued, decrying the failure to follow years of protocol by the local Uvalde police.
The delay should have never have happened and the local police reportedly mistakenly believed the contained shooter could not cost more lives for the near hour he was left contained in that one classroom.
"This has been one of the most problematic weeks of American policing that I've ever experienced in my 50 years," Bratton concluded, denouncing "mind-boggling" response "misinformation" from the tragedy.
"It's extraordinarily frustrating. I have great pride in my former profession of policing, but that pride was diminished somewhat this week by the mishandling by Texas authorities on one of the most important parts of dealing with crises: accurate information."
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