AUSTIN (KXAN) — Several businesses in downtown Austin boarded up windows earlier this week in preparation for potential protests after Election Day. So far, protests or violence hasn’t been reported around Austin.
The Austin Police Department had extra lighting and barricades around the front entrance of its headquarters in downtown on Wednesday morning.
A memo from APD Chief Brian Manley said the department has a “comprehensive” and “proactive” plan to “keep the community safe in the most peaceful and organized manner” on Election Day and the following days.
On Monday, KXAN photos showed 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.
In Manley’s memo to city leaders, the police chief said tactical alert was in effect, meaning “all officers of all ranks will report to duty in the community, if needed.”
Austin Mayor Steve Adler told KXAN he doesn’t expect violence around Austin.
“I don’t anticipate violence or need for police, but we’re ready for that. Our police departments are working with other law enforcement agencies here in Austin and Travis County. We’re ready if things happen, but I don’t anticipate that kind of action is going to be necessary,” Adler said.
Buford Snyder, the President of Snyder Commercial Glass Repair, told KXAN’s Avery Travis that 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 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.”
At the Texas State Capitol, armed guardsman and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers were patrolling the grounds. Previously, Gov. Greg Abbott said they would be deployed on an as needed basis throughout the rest of the week across the state.