CSPD agents offer help to Uvalde | Local News

More than a dozen members of the College Station Police Department have traveled to Uvalde over the past week to assist law enforcement and the community following the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School.

College Station Police Chief Billy Couch said he received the initial request for members of the Crisis Response Peer Support Team last week, then received a second request for additional officers to help further support the community.

He said the CSPD sent three officers to the city in response to the initial request. Eight more officers traveled to the city for a weekend assignment in response to community demand and a second group of five officers arrived in Uvalde on Tuesday and are expected to return to College Station on Thursday.

“It’s a situation that we all hope to avoid in our communities, but when it happens you can imagine the level of stress that everyone in that community has gone through, so if we can allow staff to release them and getting them there to provide support, that goes a long way,” Couch said. “And if all the agencies that sent someone can do that, then I think that helps relieve some of the tension and some from this stress and allows them to help cope a little better.”

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The funeral has started as investigations continue into the shooting at the school which left 21 people dead – 19 pupils and two teachers – and 17 others injured. The husband of one of the victims suffered a fatal heart attack two days after the massacre.

“It’s tragic, and we’re just glad we were able to provide some of that support to ease that stress if we could,” Couch said.

The three members of the CSPD crisis response team are typically called upon as staff support or family support, Couch said. He said they come in as relays and work with local officials to receive their specific assignments, but he was not comfortable talking about the specific assignments the team handled in Uvalde.

“Most often our peer support will either be peer-to-peer with where you work with other law enforcement or families, and then could even be support for families who have been involved. in this tragedy,” he said.

The teams of eight and five officers who visited the community over the weekend and this week were available to assist with any law enforcement duties, he said, and the group Current has been assigned to Security Details to provide additional support in this role.

Couch said the requests came from an association of police chiefs of which he is a member. He said it’s rare for police departments to receive requests like this, and when they do come, it’s most often associated with some kind of disaster.

Before sending officers to the community about 80 miles west of San Antonio, Couch said he first checked his officers’ schedules to make sure they could send officers while still covering College Station.

“We’re pretty lucky here locally that our student body is currently away, which has made a difference in our ability and to be a little more flexible with assignments,” he said.

Each group’s mission was limited to three days, he said, so they could reassess the situation locally.

“We were happy to help because we had some capacity to do that,” he said.

The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office and the Bryan Police Department did not send officers to Uvalde. BPD public information officer Kole Taylor wrote in an email: “We are always willing to provide information to each other. [aid] at [departments] who need help and will continue to monitor the situation.

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