LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Prosecutors across Texas are worried about safety after the murders of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia.

As the only African-American district attorney in Texas, Dallas County's Craig Watkins says he is a target.

"We've been dealing with issues since I got elected," Watkins said in an interview with ABC's "World News Tonight" broadcast. "We didn't take them seriously, but after what we've seen in the last month or so, it's time for us to take a position that we need to look at this and take it seriously."

In the past, Watkins has suggested he needs a security detail to follow him around.

"We have taken measures to try and keep him safe," said First Assistant District Attorney Heath Harris. He would not be more specific, but said the DA's office is also doing what it can to protect prosecutors who try cases.

On Monday morning, sheriff's deputies patrolled the parking garage, which prosecutors share with the general public.

Harris said prosecutors have been cautioned to watch their surroundings, and if they need to carry a weapon.

"We encourage our prosecutors to have secured handgun licenses, as long as they do it within the letter of the law," Harris said.

In Tarrant County, the sheriff's office moved deputies to patrol the courthouses and escort prosecutors to and from their cars if they are concerned about their safety.

"We've taken note of some of the unrest and some of the uneasiness that our employees are feeling," Sheriff Dee Anderson said.

Anderson said safety has become a top priority even if it means pulling deputies away from other duties.

It's being drawn from our working manpower. There are warrants not being served and things not being down because of it, but that is just daily life around here," Anderson added.

Both Dallas and Tarrant county officials say they don't want to take any chances that the Kaufman County shootings are isolated incidents.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/crime/2014/08/18/14050602/