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Press Release

Justice Department Announces It Will Provide Technical Assistance to Uvalde Police Department Under COPS Office’s Collaborative Reform Initiative

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) announced today it will engage with the Uvalde Police Department (UPD) through the COPS Office Collaborative Reform Initiative’s Critical Response program.

The COPS Office, in conjunction with Jensen Hughes, a Critical Response provider, will provide a range of technical assistance services and opportunities associated with UPD’s training, leadership, and community partnerships. The goal of this technical assistance is to enhance UPD’s strategic training plan, leadership development programs, and community trust-building initiatives.

“Since releasing its report ‘Critical Incident Review: Active Shooter at Robb Elementary’, the Justice Department has continued to work with the Uvalde community, offering a range of technical assistance on topics that were identified in the report,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer. “Today’s announcement will formalize that effort and enable the Department to enhance its efforts to help both the community and the police department implement the recommendations contained in the report.”

“The COPS Office remains committed to the Uvalde community and the Uvalde Police Department on the issues, challenges, and deficiencies the report identified,” said Director Hugh T. Clements, Jr. of the COPS Office. “I know that the work we are going to do moving forward will be a tremendous resource as the UPD continues with the important work they are dedicated to carrying out.”

The Collaborative Reform Initiative encompasses three programs offering expert services to state, local, territorial, and Tribal law enforcement agencies: the Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center, Critical Response, and Organizational Assessment programs (complete details of these programs can be found at www.cops.usdoj.gov/collaborativereform). Managed out of the COPS Office, this continuum of services is designed to build trust between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve; improve operational efficiencies and effectiveness; enhance officer safety and wellness; build agencies’ capacity for organizational learning and self-improvement; and promote community policing practices nationwide.

The Critical Response program is designed to provide targeted technical assistance (TA) to state, local, territorial, and Tribal law enforcement agencies experiencing high-profile events, major incidents, or sensitive issues of varying need. Critical Response is highly customizable by providing flexible assistance to law enforcement agencies that have recently experienced a critical incident or identified an issue of significant community concern in their department’s operations. The TA generally falls into three categories: (1) immediate delivery of TA to address a pressing and acute need, (2) data analysis, and (3) after-action reviews to understand and learn from law enforcement and public safety responses to critical incidents or issues.

The COPS Office is the federal component of the Justice Department responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. The only Justice Department agency with policing in its name, the COPS Office was established in 1994 and has been the cornerstone of the nation’s crime fighting strategy with grants, a variety of knowledge resource products, and training and technical assistance. Through the years, the COPS Office has become the go-to organization for law enforcement agencies across the country and continues to listen to the field and provide the resources that are needed to reduce crime and build trust between law enforcement and the communities served. The COPS Office has been appropriated more than $20 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local, territorial, and Tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of approximately 138,000 officers.

Updated June 26, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-814