Statement from Chief Cunningham

Statement from Chief Ed Cunningham, Chief of the Elizabethtown Police Department, regarding the recently released surveillance video from Uvalde Texas.              

As I sit here watching the recently released compilation of video and audio from the deadly and tragic mass murder at Robb Elementary School for yet another time, I feel the need to proactively address this situation from the perspective of Elizabethtown police officers and police leaders.  Bear in mind, please, that I was not on scene in Texas on May 24th.  I was not part of those decisions, and as of yet, I have not been privileged to have been given access to any of the investigative information about this tragedy.  Therefore, I am addressing this situation purely from the standpoint of addressing questions that have been posed to me and my officers about how we, or our partner agencies, have prepared for the possibility of this type of incident.

Again, this statement is not intended to criticize anything that happened anywhere else, it is meant to address those who live and learn in the beautiful Elizabethtown area. 

Here in Elizabethtown, our police officers receive extensive training on how to respond to active threat situations in a number of different locations.  It would not be safe for our officers, or effective for our community, for me to detail in writing the details of the training that our officers receive, or the locations where our officers receive that training.  I will say, though, that our officers do have access to floorplans of every one of the institutions of learning in our area of responsibility, as well as those from the areas that surround Elizabethtown.  Our officers actively train with officers from each of the departments that surround us, and we all receive the same training so that we will all respond in the same manner if we are forced to respond to a threat of our own. 

In addition to preparing for a coordinated response to an incident, officers from the Elizabethtown Police Department are working with local, State and Federal partners to create a multijurisdictional team within Lancaster County to recognize and address signs and predictors of violence so that we can prevent violence before it happens so that we do not have to respond to it once it has happened.  We are working with our partners in many different disciplines to prevent targeted acts of violence and direct those individuals into treatment and assistance so that violence is no longer the preferred solution for that person. 

As always, I am always willing to have conversations about the operations of the Elizabethtown Police Department.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

             Thank you again for all of your support of the EPD!

              Chief Ed Cunningham - Elizabethtown Police Department