CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In the wake of the tragic shooting in Uvalde on Tuesday, Aransas Pass Police Department Chief Eric Blanchard released a video and a statement on the APPD website Wednesday morning.
Blanchard offered condolences on behalf of the APPD before explaining how “close to home” the tragedy hit his own family.
“The news struck an even deeper cord this morning when my wife told me, like her, one of the teachers killed was a fourth-grade teacher and she was married to a police officer,” Blanchard said.
In the video, Blanchard was seated next to his wife, Nora Trevino, who is a fourth-grade teacher at Charlie Marshall Elementary School in Aransas Pass.
The video was recorded inside her classroom, as Blanchard spoke on the importance of getting a message out to the Aransas Pass community.
“We are here for y’all,” Blanchard said. “I want to remind you that we constantly train for active threats and situations like this regularly.”
Blanchard said this past school year, the APPD training division put on four active-threat courses which included school-based active threats training; an integrated response (including police, fire, and EMS); medical first response; and an integrated rescue taskforce for responding to threats.
“We also collaborate very closely with our school,” Blanchard said. “We sit on a school panel that is comprised of school staff, guardians, who are armed school staff members, police, fire and EMS. And the primary goal is to look out for the safety and well-being of our students and our staff and our visitors.”
Blanchard said the APPD also has three additional training programs planned for the summer, “to hopefully fight off any threat that may try to strike within our community.”
A civilian academy and active-threat training program also will be held sometime in August, he said, that will be open to the public.
“But again, that is not enough,” Blanchard said. “We have an epidemic in this country of hate and a mental-health crisis. We choose hatred over love and compassion, and we choose division over unity.
“It’s going to take all of us to fix this in America, and we can start right here at home, in Aransas Pass,” he added.