News

Actions

Oakland County Sheriff Bouchard ‘saddened’ by Texas law enforcement’s decision to not engage school shooter 

Uvalde strong
Posted at 7:33 PM, May 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-29 10:25:03-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — In an exclusive interview with 7 Action News on Friday, Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard sat down with Glenda Lewis to explain the critical role that law enforcement plays during active shooter events and what could’ve been done differently in response to the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

Interview with Sheriff Bouchard about school shootings

“It’s one of those things that you hope and pray never happens in your community, but if it does, Sheriff Bouchard says, “you have to respond in a way that will save as many lives as possible.”

In a press conference on Friday, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said the choice made by Uvalde school district Police Chief Pete Arredondo to not enter the classroom as an active shooter killed 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school Tuesday was not the right decision.

"Of course, it was not the right decision," McCraw said of Arredondo’s inaction. "It was the wrong decision. Period. There's no excuse for that."

Instead of treating the incident as an active-shooter event, McCraw revealed, Arredondo inaccurately handled it as a barricaded gunman event, giving the shooter nearly 30 minutes to kill.

“You have to get into that room by whatever means necessary. If you have to drive a patrol car down the hall to push open the door, do that! Get to the threat and stop it. You’ve got to eliminate the threat. That’s our primary mission,” Sheriff Bouchard said about what he sees as the proper response to an active shooter.

“If they heard one gunshot and they’re standing outside,” Bouchard added, “I don’t know how you can look in the mirror for the rest of your life. There’s a lot of jobs where you can help people, but this job requires, at that moment, to put yourself in the line of fire because if he’s shooting at you, he’s not shooting at kids.”

Training and training facilities, Bouchard believes, are critically important for better law enforcement and community outcomes in both, active shooter situations and in everyday policing. With the department, Bouchard says, they are constantly improving their tactics and training based on tragedies seen around the world.

“You have to have a training facility that stresses people in a way that makes it very real. If they make mistakes, they make them there and then you correct it. And if they find out that this isn’t something they’re really up to, that’s the place to find it out,” he added.

“And you repeat and you do it time and time again.”