DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As Americans wait for Election Day results Tuesday evening, there’s widespread anxiety that the outcome may spark violence. Some businesses in Dallas are preparing ahead of time.
In the city’s West End district, almost every business is boarded up. Owners say after what happened during protests over the death of George Floyd earlier this year they’re not taking any chances.
“I’ve been stocking up on some plywood,” Jack Lane said.
Lane boarded up his downtown hotel, hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
“Obviously, we hope that nothing comes of it and all this preparation is for nothing. But I’d much rather board up a not broken window then put a board up where a window used to be,” he said.
“It’s a tiny bit nerve-wracking with all the boards going up preemptively,” downtown resident Taylor Henry said.
Henry says he understands after that happened during the protests last spring. Vandalism and property damage such as broken windows were seen throughout the downtown area following nights of protests.
“Back in May, the protest in this area, I think we lost something like four or five of our bottom floor windows,” Henry said.
“I don’t want to see that happen again, we’re just now getting back to normal,” downtown resident Christina Nolan said.
Both local and federal law enforcement say, so far, there’s no clear threat of post-election violence, but safety is still top of mind.
The Dallas Police Department has activated an emergency operation center. Command level officers have been doing tabletop exercises ahead of Tuesday and created an operational plan for the downtown area, which they’re not disclosing to the public.
State and federal partners will be ready to step in if need be.
“I think it comes down for the individual citizens,” Lane said. “I think everybody’s just hoping cooler heads prevail.”