there were no injuries in either of two incidents that flared up on Saturday. One was in the cafeteria. The other was in the dorm rooms.I'm glad to see the local news in Edinburg is learning to ask the right questions: Would these incidents have arisen if understaffing wasn't chronic? To me, the use of pepper spray during a "riot" engenders little concern. Of greater import is the agency's failure to adequately staff large facilities.
Now, an internal investigation is underway along with a state review by the Office of the Inspector General into the actions by TYC staffers. Representative [Aaron] Pena says what transpired over the weekend may have been one of those "rare situations" where the pepper spray was warranted.
But Action 4 News asked this: "Is there a difference between a rare situation and perhaps a lack of staff and lack of training?"
Representative Pena answered, "That's what we have to get to the bottom of."
What acting Executive Director Dimitria Pope and Co. attempted to do last year in defiance of the courts with their relaxed use of force policy was use pepper spray as a means of control to compensate for a chronic lack of experienced, qualified staff.
While it's one thing to use OC spray in the "rare" event of a "riot," it's quite another for TYC facilities to be so understaffed that "riots" and use of pepper spray become routine.