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Uvalde School Shooting: Leadership Matters

Without leadership, sometimes nothing happens.

The Uvalde school shooting is back in the news due to the release of a video showing well-armed law enforcement officers standing around in the hallway, not taking any proactive actions to neutralize the shooter: “Uvalde school shooting surveillance video fuels scrutiny over delayed law enforcement response.”

Remember, everything rises and falls on leadership, and that is what appears to be lacking in the video. The officers are there, the long guns are there, the shields are there, but no leadership is present to direct the resources to take action.

Police are organized in a paramilitary fashion. Therefore it is the “leader” who directs activities to happen when there is more than a single officer present. If you don’t have a senior member with rank — a sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major or police chief acting as the incident commander (IC) — directing activities, you do not have the coordination needed to accomplish the mission.

In the end it looks like officers finally “self-organized” and took action without direction from any single authority.

I have to say the guy putting hand sanitizer on in the hallway when students and teachers are bleeding out in the classroom is disturbing, to say the least.

One more note:

It was reported that a police officer did observe the shooter moving to enter the school building before attacking the classrooms. That officer tried to contact his sergeant to get permission to engage, but no contact was made. This shows that for that officer, he or she was more afraid of making a mistake than trying to interdict the shooter. Even if they had not killed or wounded the shooter, the engagement would have delayed the shooter’s entry into the building and allowed more police resources to arrive and maybe the outcome could have been different.
Disaster Zone by Eric Holdeman is dedicated to sharing information about the world of emergency management and homeland security.