Preparations underway for slain McAllen officers’ services

Road closures planned; broadcasting announcements made

Local officials announced more details on memorial services for the two McAllen police officers who killed over the weekend.

McAllen Police Officer Ismael Chavez Jr. and officer Edelmiro Garza Jr. were fatally shot Saturday in what authorities describe as an ambush-style attack.

The city of McAllen announced that there would be several ways to view Thursday’s funeral service for the officers. According to a release, it will be aired for McAllen residents on the McAllen Cable Network, MCN 1300 on Spectrum Cable, starting at 9:20 a.m. The service will also be streaming on the city’s website at https://mcallen.granicus.com/livestreams/3/player, the new McAllen 3-1-1 mobile app and the city’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmrUtrEoIkU.

“We recognize that the entire community is in mourning for our fallen McAllen police officers and everyone would like to pay their respects and be a part of the funeral services,” Mayor Jim Darling wrote in a release.  “However, because we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we simply cannot all gather together to show our love and support. We will have limited capacity inside of the McAllen Convention Center due to social distancing.  Therefore, I would like to encourage all who simply cannot make it inside the facility, to please consider watching the service on their TVs, laptops, computers, tablets or mobile phones.”

Masks will be required for attendees of the services, the statement says. Guests will be screened, their temperatures will be taken and social distancing will be enforced. Groups of  up to four people in the same household will be allowed to sit together, while people not traveling together will have to physically distance from other groups.

The city is encouraging guests to place their phones on silent and refrain from disrupting the service with them. Food is not allowed.

Doors will open at 8:00 a.m. and overflow seating will be available throughout the McAllen Convention Center on a limited basis.

Additionally, some McAllen roads will be closed Wednesday for the officers’ viewing.

According to a release from the Texas Department of Public Safety, all westbound lanes from the intersection of Business 83 and 10th Street to Business 83 and 29th Street in McAllen will be closed at 9:30 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m. the I-69C southbound lanes will be fully closed starting from the intersection of State Highway 107 to the McAllen Convention Center on Ware Road. The I-69C westbound lanes from Raul Longoria Road to the McAllen Convention Center on Ware Road will also be closed.

“Please plan an alternate route ahead of time,” the release said.