Good afternoon, AP. Some of you contacted me asking for a public response to the attached posts shared on Facebook from this past evening’s meeting of the City Council. Though I did so in line with some of the Facebook posts, I am doing so here to establish a more widespread record for all to reference.
It’s disappointing that some remain persistent in their efforts to ridicule and demean the honorable work of the men and women of the Aransas Pass Police Department and Public Safety Divisions. Regardless it does come with the job these days and is something we must respond to when needed.
So, let me explain what you see here. There was no PD sniper with a trained rifle aimed at any members of yesterday’s demonstration in front of City Hall. That allegation is baseless and false.
Going into this event, we were made aware there would be armed demonstrators and the likelihood that one would try to get law enforcement to confront and arrest him.
As the event began, officers verified that firearms were present and one individual was donning ballistic body armor. We take threats and the chance of aggression and violence seriously. Likewise, we remain steadfast and prepared for such situations just in case they deteriorate, as we did for this event. Nevertheless, we are pleased with how this demonstration took place. It went off without a hitch.
The officers seen in these photos took an overwatch position. They were in charge of one of the remote cameras, as seen here, which was used to give observing officers a closer look while not directly intruding upon or hindering the demonstration.
We appreciate everyone understanding our commitment to public safety and strengthening close community partnerships.
– Chief Blanchard