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DALLAS In the next 24 hours, Sheriff Lupe Valdez promises residents will see a bolstered security presence in Dallas County buildings.

"You'll be able to see more of our cars, more of our people coming around and doing stuff," she said.

The sheriff says she's trying to prevent an attack on any public officials or residents in the wake of the murders of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland his wife, Cynthia. Just eight weeks prior, that county's assistant district attorney, Mark Hasse, was gunned down on his way into the courthouse.

"I think 90 percent of protection is visibility, about being able to see someone that they can call our for help," Valdez said.

The sheriff is working alongside District Attorney Craig Watkins and the county commissioners to enhance security.

"We have a plan in place that will not only protect me but every prosecutor," Watkins said.

He declined to discuss the specifics of the plan, however he said a security detail is keeping watch over him and his family.

"You know my kids, all three of them, I think and my wife are more concerned about it than I am. All three of our kids slept in bed with us last night."

No one would divulge how much it's going to cost to protect Watkins and other county employees. Watkins, however, says he believes the price is worth it, as last week one of his prosecutors received a death threat. He said he frequently receives threats.

"The reality is that some people are not only threatening but pursuing the threats and acting on them," Watkins said.

Speaking from Austin on Monday, Gov. Rick Perry reiterated the need for public figures to be extra cautious as investigators work to find who killed Hasse and the McLellands.

"There is a clear concern to individuals who are in public life, particularly those who deal with some very mean and vicious individuals, whether they're white supremacy groups or the drug cartels that we have," Perry said.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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