The Texas Department of Public Safety is looking to make some major changes in post-Uvalde Texas — and it won't be cheap.
Texas DPS is seeking $1.2 billion to transform its training facility in Florence into a "full-time statewide law enforcement academy" which will include a "state-of-the-art active-shooter facility," according to ABC 13. That facility comes with a $466.6 million price tag that DPS Director Steve McCraw calls a "down payment" which will be part of the state's 2024-25 budget, if approved.
Texas' budget won't be finalized until mid-2023, but its approval would green-light a six-year proposal to transform the DPS training center in Williamson County into a statewide law enforcement academy. The $1.2 billion DPS is asking for is not included in its legislative appropriations request, ABC 13 reports. Meanwhile, other agencies are currently "making their bids for a share of a historic state cash surplus in the next biennium."
Here's what we know about the proposed active-shooter training facility: It would be built with the first round of funding and it could be used "right off the bat" while the rest of the training facility is awaiting its upgrades. As a whole, the new training facility would also include dorms and a cafeteria, among other upgrades. "It's a cost we recognize as a cost that can't be borne in any one session. It takes time to build it," McCraw said. It remains unclear at this time what it would cost to run the training facility beyond its six-year construction budget.
News of the proposed active-shooter training facility comes nearly six months after the deadly attack at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde on May 24, where 19 children and two teachers were killed. To this day, law enforcement continues to receive backlash for its botched response to the shooting — and the dominos are still falling. Most recently, the acting Uvalde police chief during the shooting, Mariano Pargas, stepped down. So did officer Ruben Ruiz, whose wife was among the two teachers killed in the shooting.