Who is Pete Arredondo? Uvalde school police chief demoted at a former job

Pete Arredondo, the police chief for the Uvalde school system, was demoted from his prior position with the Webb County Sheriff’s Office, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Arredondo has come under fire for the slow response of law enforcement to the shooting at Robb Elementary School.

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According to documents, Arredondo, a three-decade law enforcement veteran, worked at the Uvalde Police Department from 1993 until 2009.

In 2009, he accepted a position as assistant chief with the Webb County Sheriff’s Office, but in 2014, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said that he was demoted to commander because he “couldn’t get along with others.”

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That’s basically what happened, Cuellar told the neighborhood newspaper. He was tough to get along with, especially among his superiors and higher employees. The main point I want to make is that he simply didn’t meet the requirements or the tasks I had in mind for him.

In 2017, Arredondo accepted a position with the Unified Independent School District in Laredo, Texas. In 2020, he would return to Uvalde as the city’s chief of police.

About two years later, on May 24, 2022, Aredondo was the on-scene commander who state law enforcement officials say made the fateful decision not to confront a gunman at Robb Elementary School immediately. 

Texas House lawmakers who are investigating the shooting called Arredondo’s decision to hang back a “terrible, tragic mistake.” The embattled school police chief testified that he thought the situation had turned into a “barricaded subject” and didn’t know there were children in the room.

Uvalde school officials placed Arredondo on unpaid leave in June, but a termination hearing to determine his future has been delayed twice. 

Arredondo did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday.