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Delgado: Changes to come after review of every UPD policy, memberFree Access

New Uvalde Police Department Chief Homer Delgado said no part of his predecessor’s administration will remain the same unless he determines those items contribute to the success of the department  

Delgado said April 10 he is planning sweeping changes to the department’s structure and operations and is in the process of reviewing every element, including policies, procedures and personnel.

Delgado, who on April 10 was midway through his first week as UPD’s new chief, said Uvalde can expect to see serious changes within the department after he completes those evaluations. He said the department is building a staff of experienced law enforcement officers and professionals to bring in outside perspective on how to best develop UPD.

The department is also working with the U.S. Department of Justice.

They have developed a work plan that focuses on improving the department and we are committed to working with them to achieve success,” Delgado said.

UPD currently employs 50 members; a third of them have at least 10 years of experience. Four members of the department have more than 20 years in law enforcement.

Delgado plans to communicate changes to local media and on UPD’s social media as they come, he added.

Delgado, who became chief on April 7, told community members and media in an April 4 news release that the department was verging on a complete transition and that he planned to raise department standards.

We will challenge every member of our department to rise to a new level of professionalism and accountability,” he said at the time.

Delgado, formerly assistant chief, assumed the role of Rodriguez, who resigned on March 12. The resignation came a few days after city leaders presented a report by Jesse Prado of JPPI Investigations that exonerated all UPD officers that responded to Robb Elementary on May 24, 2022.

Parents of victims from the shooting and attendees in public meetings have increasingly called for the city to fire Lt. Javier Martinez, Detective Louis Landry and Sgt. Eduardo Canales, who were among the first of 28 UPD officers to participate in the law enforcement response at Robb.

The department employed each of the officers as of April 10. City leadership hadn’t publicly shared its official stance on the JPPI report as of that same day.

Delgado declined to say whether any of the major changes he plans to bring include terminating those officers. He said it’s against policy, and inappropriate, to directly discuss personnel issues of this kind.

However, Delgado said he’s assessing the performance of every department member to see whether they best fit their respective roles. He will make decisions on staffing and structure from there, he added.

Sofi Zeman (szeman@ulnnow.com, 830-278-3335) is a Report for America corps member who writes about education and crime for the Leader-News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep Sofi writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting tinyurl.com/995h5cka