"We are in an election year," Deputy Chief Jeff Cotner told local station WFAA Wednesday, the day before Trump's scheduled rally at Gilley's Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
By 6/15/16 10:19 PM
Dallas law enforcement officers are preparing for the worst when presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump rallies in Texas on Thursday.
The Dallas Police Department conducted training for more than 600 officers Wednesday in an effort to familiarize police with how to handle tear gas, conduct mounted patrols and maintain the peace while wearing riot gear.
Deputy Chief Jeff Cotner, who oversees the department's training division, said the city has taken the proactive measures to be prepared for anything that should occur if protests erupt before, after or during Trump's rally at Gilley's South Side Ballroom in Dallas at 7 p.m. CST Thursday.
"We are in an election year," Cotner told local station WFAAWednesday, the day before Trump's scheduled rally at Gilley's Dallas. "You can see across the nation other jurisdictions have had incidents. So it was an opportunity for us to prepare as we move into election year and re-certify some of our officers."
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Part of the training was meant to give the K-9 units and police horses the chance to experience how to operate in smoky conditions, should officers need to use those resources.
Some Latino leaders have said they will protest Trump and warned they plan to bring thousands of people out to the event.
"In our country everyone has a privilege to assemble and give voice, and the Dallas Police Department's role in that is to protect everyone," Cotner added.
Trump will hold another rally Friday night at 7 p.m. local time at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center outside Houston.