As the community of Uvalde reels from the deadly mass shooting at an elementary school, support and resources from North Texas continue to flow.
This week, a number of North Texas police departments deployed members to help in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed Tuesday at Robb Elementary.
The Lake Worth Police Department has sent two members so far, according to Sgt. Sean Ferguson.
“Their main responsibilities right now are patrols and VIP security, so the mayor, the chief of police, things like that. The officers, just giving them the opportunity to take a nap and not worry about the streets and taking care of the community, because we are doing it for them,” said Sgt. said Fergusson. “This tragedy is unimaginable. If this were to happen in our community, I hope we would have the same outpouring and support as they did.
The Grapevine and Fort Worth Police Departments have also deployed members to help, according to their social media accounts.
In Fort Worth, Pastor Kyev Tatum of the New Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church arrived Wednesday and returned Friday evening. Pastor Kyev said he plans to return after the holiday weekend.
“Coming back after seeing all that I had seen, I asked the Lord to give me the strength to provide them with the assistance they need,” Pastor Tatum said. “I saw pain, grief over grief over grief.”
Tatum said he has met with other faith leaders and plans to set up a “compassion bowl,” which sets up churches as hubs as distribution sites.
“Whether it’s mental health supplies or treatment or other types of things that will be long-term in nature,” he said. “The whole community has been victimized because they know each other. They go to church together. They play softball together. It’s a small community.
John-Travis Smith, associate executive director of the Texas Baptist Men, said about 10 of their members are currently attending Uvalde. One of their goals is to help local churches with resources to help them in the months and years to come, he said.
“Not just natural disasters, but unfortunately man-made disasters are unfortunately things that we respond to,” Smith said. “As the outside communities evolve, it is difficult for them to manage something so personal for them. Then the rest of us – for them, it seems – either forget about those things or it slips out of their awareness – just helping them what it’s going to be.
Tatum said his message to his congregation this week will center on compassion in honor of Uvalde.
“The political posture that is adopted at the moment does not show good leadership. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Beto should have paused for the calls and respected this community and allowed them to grieve with dignity and respect, and take politics. Uvalde does not need politics. Uvalde needs prayer,” he said. “Uvalde no longer needs chaos or confusion, Uvalde needs compassion.”