Tennessee sheriff warns bad guys: If you come to cause harm in our schools, we will end you. Period.

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PUTNAM COUNTY, TN – Sheriff Eddie Farris issued a stern warning for anyone who would consider walking into a school campus in his county with a gun or with any intent on wreaking havoc or causing death: Come to our schools and it will be the last thing you do.

“Our Student Resource Deputies and SWAT are the most highly trained deputies within the United States, including in the areas of active shooter situations and other violent crimes against the public.” Farris wrote.

“If you are a bad guy and come into our schools with a gun, or any other kind of weapon, with the intention of causing harm to our faculty or children, our deputies will eliminate you immediately.”

The Sheriff’s statement comes on the heels of an executive order signed by Tennessee governor, Bill Lee.

That order requires “new active shooter training standards for police, more frequent and unannounced security assessments at every public school, and new safety plans and resource guides for parents and teachers to be issued ahead of the upcoming school year,” according to WREG.

The order did not include any measures for stricter gun laws in the state.

Putnam County lies roughly 80 miles east of Nashville on I-40 and is also home to Tennessee Tech University.

Farris’s office provides the school resource deputies for the Putnam County schools, who finished their school year three days after the tragic events in Uvalde, Texas that left 19 students and 2 teachers dead.

His statement continued with a promise to parents, students and everyone else who cares about school safety.

“Our Deputies are trained to run towards the threat / violence no matter the cost – even if it costs them their own lives in order to keep our children safe. We will not wait on backup, including other law enforcement or SWAT. If we have not eliminated the threat by the time other law enforcement arrives, then we have failed at what we’re trained to do.

Let me be clear: there is nothing more important than our children’s safety and we will take whatever action necessary to accomplish this task.”

In one written statement, Sheriff Farris did what we have come to expect from law enforcement. He set the expectation of safeguarding his community and identified that he and his team should be held accountable if they have to wait for assistance from other agencies.

Not only did Sheriff Farris issue the statement, but he also posted it to Twitter and pinned the post.

State Representative Ryan Williams retweeted the Sheriff’s statement and added this message.

“Proud of Putnam County TN Sheriff’s Office – Eddie Farris, Sheriff for his crystal clear approach to safety of Putnam County Schools. I have been delighted to help fund more than $500M of grants to TN’s schools for not only SRO’s but safety improvements to schools.”

Farris’ statement echos what was said by his Polk County, Florida counterpart, Sheriff Grady Judd. Judd is no stranger to readers of Law Enforcement Today.

He recently stated:

“If you come to a school in this county, armed, we’re going to do our best through either our guardians, our school resource officers, or our school resource deputy sheriffs to eliminate the threat outside of the school before they ever get to the children. We’re trained to do that.”

Holding a photo of two deputies with weapons in their hands, he added:

“Now, if you have trouble understanding that, let me put it in Polk County vernacular. This is the last thing you’ll see before we put a bullet through your head if you’re trying to hurt our children. We are going to shoot you graveyard dead if you come onto a campus, with a gun, threatening our children or shooting at us.” 

The statements of these two law enforcement chiefs stands in stark contract and direct contradiction to how the tragedy in Uvalde unfolded. It has been reported that it took more than an hour, 77 minutes, for officers to breach the classroom where that shooter was hiding and take him out, because they couldn’t find the right key to unlock the door.

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Uvalde school district police chief says that he did not consider himself to be the incident commander during the mass shooting

UVALDE, TX- In the aftermath of the horrific elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the school police chief has been widely criticized for his actions and in his first extensive interview said that he did not consider himself to be the person in charge as the massacre unfolded.

Pete Arredondo, the police chief of the Uvalde school district stated that he assumed someone else was in charge and that he intentionally left behind both his police and campus radios before entering Robb Elementary School. Arredondo said in a statement:

“The only thing that was important to me at this time was to save as many teachers and children as possible.”

He reportedly spent more than an hour in the hallway of Robb Elementary School as he used his cell phone to call for tactical gear, a sniper, and keys to get inside. When the keys arrived, he tried dozens of them, but one by one they failed to work. He added:

“Each time I tried a key, I was just praying.”

Finally, 77 minutes after the mass shooting began, officers were able to unlock the door and fatally shoot the gunman.

According to the Texas Tribune, aside from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Arredondo is the only other law enforcement official to publicly tell his account of the police response to the deadly shooting.

Since the shooting, Arredondo’s actions have come under intensifying scrutiny from state officials and experts trained in mass shooting responses.

Steven McCraw, the head of the Texas Department of Public Safety, stated that the school police chief, whom he described as the “incident commander,” made the wrong decision to not order officers to breach the classroom more quickly to confront the gunman.

However, Arredondo said that he believed that carrying radios would slow him down as he entered the school and that he also knew the radios did not work in some of the buildings.

He also said that he never considered himself the scene’s “incident commander” and did not give any instruction that police should not attempt to breach the building. He added:

“I didn’t issue any orders. I called for assistance and asked for an extraction tool to open the door.”

He insisted that the steps he took were the ones he thought would best protect lives at his hometown school, one he had attended himself as a young boy. He said:

“My mind was to get there as fast as possible, eliminate any threats, and protect the students and staff.”

Arredondo noted that some 500 students were safely evacuated during the crisis. As head of the six-member police force responsible for keeping Uvalde schools safe, Arredondo has been singled out for much of the blame, particularly by state officials.

They criticized him for failing to taking control of the police response and said he made the wrong decision that delayed officers from entering the classroom.

Arredondo has reportedly faced death threats and news crews have camped outside of his home, forcing him to go into hiding. He has been called cowardly and incompetent among other things. He said neither accusation is true or fair. He added:

“Not a single responding officer ever hesitated, even for a moment, to put themselves at risk to save the children. We responding to the information that we had and had to adjust to whatever we faced. Our objective was to save as many lives as we could, and the extraction of the students from the classrooms by all that were involved saved over 500 of our Uvalde students and teachers before we gained access to the shooter and eliminated the threat.”

Ten days after the shooting, the New York Times reported that a group of U.S. Border Patrol agents ignored a directive spoken into their earpieces not to enter the room. The Times has since reported that Arredondo did not object when the team entered the room.

George E. Hyde, Arredondo’s lawyer, said that if a directive delaying entry was issued, it did not come from Arredondo, but the Times reported that someone was issuing orders at the scene. Hyde said he did not know who that person was and the Border Patrol has declined to comment.

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FBI data on active shooter incidents for 2021 reveal that gun-controlled California led the country in mass shootings

June 6th, 2022

SACRAMENTO, CA- According to a report from Breitbart News, a Federal Investigation Bureau (FBI) report on “active shooter incidents” for the year 2021, shows that California was the number one state for such violent incidents.

The golden state had six active shooter incidents in total in 2021 and according another report from Everytown for Gun Safety, California is also the number one state for gun law strength.

The FBI report confirmed that there were 61 “active shooter incidents” across the United States in 2021 and 12 of those met the definition of a “mass killing.” California led the country with six active shooter incidents. According to the summary of the report:

“For the period 2017-2021, active shooter incident data reveals an upward trend: the number of active shooter incidents identified in 2021 represents a 52.5% increase from 2020 and a 96.8% increase from 2017.”

According to the report from Breitbart News, California has several state gun laws, including:

“…Universal background checks, an ‘assault weapons’ ban, a ‘high capacity magazine ban,’ a 10-day waiting period on gun purchases, a red flag law, gun registration requirements, a ‘good cause’ requirement for concealed carry permit issuance, a ban on carrying a gun on college campus for self-defense, a ban on K-12 teachers being armed on campus for classroom defense, a background check requirement for ammunition purchases, and a limit on the number of guns a law-abiding citizen can purchase in a given month, among other controls.”

In addition to the countless gun control laws the state has, new legislation introduced by Governor Gavin Newsom includes raising the minimum age for sales and transfers of firearms as well as investing state funds to support evidence-based community violence intervention strategies.

According to reports, California is now spending $11 million on education programs promoting wide use of “red flag” laws that are designed to temporarily take guns away from people who are deemed “at risk of harming themselves or others.”

California approved its “red flag” laws in 2014 after a mass shooting incident. It allows police, loved ones and others to ask judges to approve what are formally known as “gun violence restraining orders” that temporarily bar someone from possessing firearms if they are found to be a risk to themselves or others.

The new 18-month outreach program is designed to expand the use of “reg flag” laws. It includes:

“$5 million to local domestic violence organizations for community outreach; $5 million for a statewide education program, including to communities most at risk of gun violence in several languages; and $1 million to expand an existing San Diego-based program to provide education and training for district attorneys and law enforcement groups statewide.”

Even with all this, Everytown for Gun Safety states that in an average year, 3,160 people are still dying from guns in the state of California.

On May 15th, a gunman opened fire inside a church in Laguna Woods, killing one person and wounding five others. This shooting came just one day after a gunman killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

The mass shooting in Buffalo, New York came just two weeks before the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman killed 19 young children and two adults.

Data indicates that as of June 2022, California has had the most mass shootings in the United States, with 23 total mass shootings since 1982.

 

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