From Neiman Marcus to apartment buildings and storefronts, several buildings in downtown Dallas have boarded up in case the election sparks protests through the streets.
The owners of Ellen’s in the West End aren’t risking any potential election unrest after speaking with their landlord and neighborhood association.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” said co-owner Joe Groves. “We just want to ensure that our properties are protected.”
Twisted Trompo on Commerce Street and other storefronts are also all open, with plywood protection over their windows.
“The election is coming up and they don’t want to get hit by surprise like it happened a few months ago when we had the protests here in downtown,” said manager Agustin Martinez.
Unrest over the summer caused $3 million in damages to downtown Dallas businesses, according to Downtown Dallas Inc.
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Vandals targeted Ellen’s during one night of protests, causing about $5,000 worth of damage.
“Our vandalism did not come from Black Lives Matter, it came from people who wanted to get involved and cause trouble,” said Groves.
NBC 5 spoke with Kourtny Garrett, president of Downtown Dallas Inc., who is working alongside local, state and federal police to prepare for any emergencies on election night and in the coming days and weeks.
“At this time, the intelligence community does not have any credible or imminent threats to this region and that includes downtown Dallas,” said Garrett.
Garrett is not urging owners to board up their businesses, promising stepped up security and a quick response should any trouble break out.
“We believe, and with indicators, that everything will be peaceful here locally. We believe that creating a positive environment will help to influence the outcome and what we’ll end up seeing here in downtown.”
For the folks at Ellen’s, it’s better safe than sorry.
“People are very high-strung right now, have opinions that could be volatile if things don’t go their way so we just want to make sure we’re ok,” said Groves. “Let’s just hope people don’t think that they have to take it out with violence.”
The Dallas Police Department released a statement about safety plans in place.
The department said it has ‘plans to have adequate staff leading up to Election Day and the days following November 3.’
A plan has been made in conjunction with local, state and federal partners to ensure people are safe at the polls and if people choose to ‘exercise their First Amendment Right to peaceful assembly.’
All discretionary leave has been restricted for sworn personnel.
‘All sworn personnel will be required to be in uniform and maintain a constant state of equipment readiness during the election period in case the need for an immediate response emerges,’ the department said in a statement.
Plans also include activating the Emergency Operations Center.
Fort Worth police said hours were changed to ensure there are additional officers on duty throughout election day.