Constables on store patrols as precaution

HARLINGEN — Long lines of customers waiting to shop for groceries can create tension. That’s why deputy constables from Precinct 5 have been on patrol.

Amid coronavirus concerns Cameron County residents have been attending supermarkets more often than usual.

Though stores such as H-E-B have issued statements about having enough products to restock, lines continue to be long.

To make sure everything is under control, constables decided to patrol Sam’s Club and take a walk inside to ensure safety and calmness on Wednesday.

“Some of the store managers were a bit concerned shoppers would get confused where the line starts or if other people would think they were cutting,” Constable Eddie Solis said.

“We were just showing our presence to try to keep a little bit of peace and things from getting out of hand, if anything,” he said.

However, Sam’s Club and H-E-B have contracted private security companies that will use off-duty law enforcement from now on, said Solis.

In the meantime, patrolling surrounding businesses and the community will continue.

“We did a walk through the stores to make sure they would see law enforcement presence. For the most part everything was running smoothly,” Solis said.

Line etiquette and a limit on people going inside the store was started as protocol by grocery stores starting Wednesday, said Solis.

“I think that made a big difference as far as running a lot smoother,” he said.

“From what I hear from managers is that they will keep on stocking up the stores but don’t want anyone to panic and feel they will be running out of supplies,” Solis said.

Besides passing through H-E-B and Sam’s Club, Solis said constables patrolled dollar store parking lots and Stripes.

“If they request it we will continue to patrol. It was overwhelming with the amount of people they had but I don’t foresee any problems. For the most part Harlingen residents understand the situation and are willing to wait if its 30 minutes to an hour,” he said.

“Not only is our department out there, I did see Harlingen Police Department as well. I think for the most part all law enforcement is doing their part to make sure the community is safe,” Solis said.