CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Last week, the Texas Police Chief’s Association put a call out to law-enforcement agencies across the state in order to help out the Uvalde Police Department.
“Being a small agency, ourselves, we know how overwhelming a critical incident like that could be,” said Bishop Police Chief Edward Day. “We would hope that, God forbid we were in a situation, that we would get the same response. So, we sent what we could.”
Bishop PD sent two officers and one dispatcher to help in Uvalde this weekend.
“I can’t imagine the devastation and the grief they’re dealing with, and I know it wasn’t a whole lot of help, but I hope what little we did did help that community in some way,” Day said.
Aransas Pass PD also sent assistance to Uvalde, sending two officers and two dispatchers. APPD's Harbor Safety Enforcement Officer Jack McCarty was one of those officers.
“My number-one concern was not only that the streets of Uvalde were covered, but also we were there to support the citizens of Uvalde and Uvalde County,” McCarty said.
McCarty said the people of Uvalde were thankful for the assistance from law enforcement agencies across the state.
“Every single citizen that I talked to, even [family] of the deceased, were extremely grateful,” he said. “It’s overwhelming, emotionally, having seen the site, plus seeing the response from the citizens. I’m at a loss of words from it.”
McCarty said he was happy to help, especially knowing the importance of the extra help in a time of need. It was help Aransas Pass and Rockport benefited from following Hurricane Harvey.
“It’s Texans helping Texans,” he said.
APPD Police Chief Eric Blanchard said because of the response after Harvey, he, too, knew how important it was to offer support to Uvalde, especially with prominent figures such as Gov. Greg Abbott and President Joe Biden in town.
“That also requires a special focus and extra security, when you have politicians like the president over there,” Blanchard said. “It just adds an extra layer of complexity.”
Blanchard also referenced APPD’s experience with the threat of gun violence, after reports were made of a student at Aransas Pass High School with a gun last November.
“We had to evacuate that campus, we had to meticulously search that campus, and go in,” he said. “It is a huge undertaking, when you have an active threat on foot, and law enforcement and public safety have to come together to respond to it.”
McCarty assisted with a security detail for Abbott, and worked out of the command center established in Uvalde. He said by the time he left Sunday evening, there were 273 police officers from 73 agencies across Texas and Oklahoma assisting.