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What Happened to the Police?

Little children waited to be rescued by the people they trusted; no one came.

Carol Burt
9 min readMay 29, 2022


What happened at Uvalde should never have been allowed to continue as long as it did. At this point there is little doubt more children could have been saved if the police had followed their own protocol for a school shooting.

I feel comfortable in addressing this. I’m an old retired cop, observing a horrible police failure. Shortly before my retirement, one of the advance classes I attended was my second one about responding to school shootings.

People who have been through them and had the opportunity to study every aspect created a new plan for police and were teaching that procedure. I thought it had been taught throughout the country. Given the police performance in Uvalde, maybe it has not.

“Get in there.”

I’ll never forget one of the instructor’s words in a summation of procedures to be followed and tactics to be used.

“Get in there,” he said. “We should never have another Columbine, where the kids are inside with the shooters and the police are outside watching.”

He told us to grab the nearest big vehicle, a dump truck, a school bus, a piece of heavy equipment, or if all else failed, even a police car, “and drive it through the front doors.”

After all, anything that distracts the shooter will save lives and give students extra seconds to run away. The shooter should almost immediately be more worried about the coming army of police than in shooting more children.

We learned that. We had it drilled in our heads.

“Get in there,” he reiterated, “because every second you do not engage that shooter and draw his attention to you, children are going to die.”

Because, before the new training, police, with their guns and body armor and training, were not in the building but standing by outside and treating it like they’d been trained to treat a hostage situation. Children were dying at the whims of the shooter with law enforcement watching from a safe distance.

Get in there and kill him.



Carol Burt

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.