National Guard deployment unlikely to affect safety locally

In this April 19, 2011 photo, Texas National Guardsman Cpl. Martinez looks through a pair of binoculars near the Hidalgo International Bridge in Hidalgo, Texas. (AP Photo/Delcia Lopez)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With training beginning immediately for National Guard troops headed to the border, what impact should people in Central Texas expect?

“We have some folks in specialized areas and reserves that could be called up,” said Roger Wade with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. “We’ll just transfer someone over to take the workload.”

Wade says some deputies are also members of the National Guard and could be part of the 1,000 troops being deployed. “We’re still going to come and protect and help any way we can. They’re not going to see a difference in the level of service.”

Even though the governor hopes to put a stop to immigrants entering the country illegally, some in Austin are prepared to help those who make it to U.S. soil.

“We have strong resources here in Austin that can contribute to the response,” said Laurie Cook Heffron, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin specializing in women and children crossing the border illegally. “I do think we can both hear what kids and women have to tell us and provide information they need about rights and support them if they’re eligible for protection here in the U.S.”

Heffron says many times these women and children are just looking for help.

When asked how the governor’s order will impact resources within the Austin Police Department, a spokeswoman said it was too early to tell how this will affect the department, if it does at all.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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