Businesses, Austin Police and National Guard troops prepared for potential protests

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Police Chief Brian Manley says APD has created “comprehensive” and “proactive” plans to “keep the community safe in the most peaceful and organized manner” on Election Day and the following days, according to a memo sent to city leaders.

“While we are not aware of any planned attempts to disrupt the election process, we stand ready to address them should they occur,” Manley says in the memo. Additionally, Manley has “implemented tactical alert, meaning all officers of all ranks will report to duty in the community, if needed.”

Over the last few months, Manley says his department has made improvements to its policies, training and tactics for peaceful protests. Other details about APD’s plan for Election Day were not divulged to prevent compromising the security of those plans.

Armed guards from the Texas Army National Guard joined Department of Public Safety troopers surrounding the Capitol Tuesday night, but downtown Austin remained calm.

A few weeks ago, Mayor Steve Adler told KXAN he wasn’t aware of any demonstrations planned and didn’t expect anything out of the ordinary.

“We haven’t had any indication of anything special or out of the ordinary, either on Election Day or after Election Day,” he said.

Still, several businesses businesses boarded up their windows in downtown Austin.

Photos taken by KXAN crews show the United States Postal Service location, a 7-Eleven convenience store and Total Men’s Primary Care in the 823 Congress Avenue building boarded up with plywood.

Businesses on the corner of Congress Avenue and East 9th Street boarding up before Election Day (KXAN/Andrew Choat)
Businesses on the corner of Congress Avenue and East 9th Street boarding up before Election Day (KXAN/Andrew Choat)

About a block south along Congress Avenue and 8th Street, wooden boards were also being installed at another office space used by Third Rail Creative and Orange 142. Kruger’s Diamond Jewelers took that step on Tuesday afternoon, adding boards to all of their windows.

Buford Snyder, the President of Snyder Commercial Glass Repair, said his company has had their busiest year yet.

They have serviced many of the large buildings downtown for more than 20 years, and when the pandemic shut down most businesses, Snyder was there to help board up office buildings and storefronts. They stepped in again over the summer to help repair some damage from vandalism following protests over the deaths of Mike Ramos and George Floyd.

This week, he said he’s gotten calls from businesses from the Domain to downtown, requesting his services in boarding up windows and walls.

“I hate to see their stuff get torn up and broken, but I’m glad to be able to be able to provide a service that can get them taken care of really fast,” he said. “This week is a blow out finale, getting ready everywhere. We service a lot of other cities in Texas, and everybody is trying to prepare for whatever is the worst or the best, whatever it is going to be.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Austin-Travis County

Tracking the Coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases Tracker

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

Trending Stories

Don't Miss