GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The Texas National Guard says by the end of the week, there will be 5,000 members called up statewide in response to violence and looting in Dallas and other cities in Texas.
Colonel Mike Wallace of the Texas National Guard says of those, 1,300 will be called up by week’s end.
On Wednesday afternoon, a unit of about 30 men and women rolled out from their base in Grand Prairie.
Colonel Wallace said they were on their way to Hurst after being requested by Texas DPS.
The Colonel said another 100 members of the Texas National Guard were on stand-by in downtown Dallas in case they are called to help Dallas Police.
The Colonel said on Monday night, the troops were on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas where hundreds of protesters were.
The National Guard assisted police with arrests but they do not take the lead.
They are there to assist police.
Governor Abbott first called up the Guard Saturday afternoon.
Their first assignment was in downtown Dallas Sunday evening for the curfew.
Colonel Wallace said Guard members live in North Texas. “We’re your neighbor, we’re your co-worker, our kids play soccer with your kids, so these folks all here are part of these communities.”
But Wallace also acknowledged that when they are in uniform, it adds a level of seriousness and gravity.
“We don’t take our responsibility lightly. All of my soldiers here feel like the rest of us do about the tragedy that took place in Minnesota, but we’re here to protect Texas citizens and we’re here to help law enforcement. If that means that we’re here to protect businesses and citizens as well, we’ll do it.”
The Colonel said he is hoping they will be able to stand down by the middle of next week.
The Texas National Guard has helped with the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Members have previously been at the food banks helping distribute food and have also helped disinfect nursing homes which has still been continuing.