Uvalde school district police chief submits his resignation after holding position for over a year

The chief of police for Uvalde schools has submitted his resignation more than a year after he replaced the man who held the position during the 2022 school massacre in the Texas city, according to a school official’s statement obtained by CNN affiliate KSAT Tuesday.

The resignation of Joshua Gutierrez, chief of police for the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, will be presented for approval at a June 17 school board meeting, according to district spokesperson Anne Marie Espinoza. If approved, his last day will be June 26, according to the KSAT report.

Details about the reasons for the resignation weren’t immediately available. CNN has sought comment from Gutierrez and the school district.

“We thank Chief Gutierrez for his dedicated leadership and guidance in reestablishing the Uvalde CISD Police Department,” Espinoza said in the statement. “His contributions have been instrumental in enhancing the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and school community.”

Gutierrez replaced Pete Arredondo, who was fired in August 2022 following scrutiny of his actions during the May 2022 shooting in which 19 students and two teachers were killed at Robb Elementary School. Law enforcement officers waited more than an hour before entering adjoining classrooms where the gunman was and killing him. A US Department of Justice report said officers had many opportunities to intervene to stop the bloodshed far earlier.

Arredondo was seen on police body-worn cameras giving orders and receiving information during the response, but he has said he did not see himself as the incident commander.

Gutierrez was approved unanimously as the interim police chief in November 2022, and was named permanent chief in March 2023.

“This is our first step (we are) taking to rebuild our school district police force,” Gary Patterson, then the interim superintendent, said when Gutierrez was named interim chief.

As interim police chief, Gutierrez focused on hiring qualified officers, conducting tactical cross-training with local law enforcement and engaging students and the community, according to KSAT, which reported he’d previously worked at several other school districts.

“I have the ability to come out here and help the community heal, help our community heal, and the abilities to reestablish a good foundation for our police department,” Gutierrez said in December 2022, according to KSAT.

The district has begun a search to replace Gutierrez and has posted the job on its website.

“Under general supervision, this officer performs tasks related to ensuring the safety of UCISD students, staff, and visitors,” the posting says. “Additionally, the officer provides classroom presentations, counsels students and parents, engages students through mentoring, and serves as a positive role model to help promote healthy relationships between youth and law enforcement.”

Among the requirements for the position, the district is looking for someone with a minimum of five years of senior level experience directing law enforcement operations, according to the posting. A candidate should have the “ability to effectively deal with personal danger which may include sudden exposure to armed persons,” the posting says.

“We are committed to finding a successor who will continue to uphold the standards of safety and security that our school community deserves,” Espinoza said.

CNN’s Andy Rose, Shimon Prokupecz and Matthew J. Friedman contributed to this report.

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