US Justice Department to provide technical assistance to Uvalde PD as part of collaborative reform initiative

SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday announced it will provide technical assistance to the Uvalde Police Department as part of a collaborative reform initiative, a press release said.

The Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services or COPS Office, will help Uvalde PD with its training, leadership, and community partnerships as part of a Collaborative Reform Initiative’s Critical Response program.

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“Since releasing its report ‘Critical Incident Review: Active Shooter at Robb Elementary,’ the Justice Department has continued to work with the Uvalde community, offering a range of technical assistance on topics that were identified in the report,” Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer said. “Today’s announcement will formalize that effort and enable the Department to enhance its efforts to help both the community and the police department implement the recommendations contained in the report.”

The press release said the goal is “to enhance UPD’s strategic training plan, leadership development programs, and community trust-building initiatives.”

“The COPS Office remains committed to the Uvalde community and the Uvalde Police Department on the issues, challenges, and deficiencies the report identified,” Director Hugh T. Clements, Jr. of the COPS Office in the press release. “I know that the work we are going to do moving forward will be a tremendous resource as the UPD continues with the important work they are dedicated to carrying out.”

The Justice Department said the Collaborative Reform Initiative offers services to state, local, territorial, and Tribal law enforcement agencies and is designed to build trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. They try to improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness, enhance officer safety and wellness and build agencies’ capacity for organizational learning and self-improvement while promoting community policing practices nationwide, the press release said.

The Critical Response program is designed to provide targeted technical assistance (TA) to state, local, territorial, and Tribal law enforcement agencies that experienced high-profile events, major incidents, or sensitive issues of varying need, like Uvalde.

The COPS Office was established in 1994 and is the only Justice Department agency with policing in its name. It is responsible for advancing community policing nationwide and offers grants, a variety of knowledge resource products and training and technical assistance, the press release said.

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