Protecting high-ranking lawmakers in Austin

Like the heroism displayed by capitol police, a team of Austin police officers stand ready to take a bullet for world leaders.

Retired Austin police officer, Dennis Farris's home office is full of memorabilia from his years serving with the executive protection unit.

Farris put his life on the line for politicians from the mayor to the president.

"You have to be willing, as crazy as it sounds, and it sounds corny, take a bullet for the person you're protecting. That is your job. Your job is meant to protect them. If that means the round is meant for you, it's meant for you, you take it,” said Farris.

He says it was a task not everyone is cut out for.

"Your instinct, when shots start getting fired as a police officer your instincts are to go to the gunfire sometimes, because that's what you're trained to do take on the threat. Well if your job is to grab the protectee and run with the protectee. That instinct has to go away,” said Farris.

One person Farris served was U.S. Congressman Roger Williams.

"He was nice, he was friendly to us,” said Farris.

So to see Williams involved in the shooting at the baseball field Wednesday morning, Farris couldn't help but put himself in the situation.

"That is almost your worst nightmare to have a protectee out in the open. Literally they're sitting ducks,” said Farris.

Farris says high-ranking members of the u-s house and senate have a security detail assigned to them. They will make requests for APD to supplement those teams when in Austin for events.

All other representatives and senators do not have set security.

Farris assumes they will want some level of protection in the weeks to come.

"I suspect what will happen in every jurisdiction these congressmen are going to come home for the 4th of July break and if they go to parades, I suspect they will probably request where they may not have in the past some sort of level of protection. Right now that's not a bad thing,” said Farris.

Farris continues his services in the private sector as a personal protection officer. He praises the actions of capitol police.

"You've got to wonder if they were not there today what would've happened. I think we would've had some dead congressman. That is unthinkable,” said Farris.

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