Police Chief says lack of training led to failure in Uvalde, leaders to blame

In a blog post this week, Palm Springs Police Chief Andy Mills called for police chiefs and sheriffs to demand all officers “face real-life, sensory overload scenarios.”

Palm Springs Police Chief Andy Mills is calling for leaders in the law enforcement community and elsewhere to accept responsibility for what he says is a lack of training that leads to failures such as those seen recently during a mass shooting in a Texas school.

Driving the news: In a post on his website this week, Mills wrote that while training for active shooter situations does take police off the streets, it’s vital. Unfortunately, he concluded, that training is often not a priority.

  • “Police leaders should accept full responsibility for this lack of readiness. The Uvalde mission failed before it began. They lacked preparation. Many other departments in the U.S. would have failed too.”

At issue: Mills maintained police officers might be getting mixed messages. “Law enforcement leaders, like me, have preached de-escalation to prevent shooting people,” he wrote. “Now we teach them to use speed and overwhelming violence. So, our expectations must be crystal clear. A police officer must be a warrior and a guardian.”

Going forward: Mills made a pair of pleas. First, he called for police chiefs and sheriffs to demand all officers “face real-life, sensory overload scenarios.” Secondly, he asked community members to understand use of lethal force was sometimes necessary, but that it should always come with scrutiny.

Bottom line: “For the police to operate without hesitation, divisive politics must end,” Mills wrote. “(T)he discussion of eliminating military-type equipment or defunding is short-sighted. Instead, find new leadership if a department is inappropriately using the equipment and tools provided.”

Dive deeper with Mills’ complete post.

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