After sending emergency personnel to assist with recovery efforts in the aftermath of the West fertilizer plant explosion, Harker Heights officials planned to dispatch more officers to the city this week.

Harker Heights Police Chief Mike Gentry told council members Tuesday that many of his officers from special operations, patrol and SWAT spent most of last week assisting with the aftermath.

“Our officers were involved in security and also went door to door to help locate victims,” he said.

About nine police officers and firefighters and the regional command van were sent to West minutes after the explosion occurred.

“The Department of Public Safety law enforcement command center was not there until the next day, so (the command van) served them as well as an ATF facility,” said Fire Chief Jack Collier.

“It resulted in direct recognition for the city of Harker Heights by the number of organizations assisting up there.”

Gentry said his department will continue to help.

“It’s a huge undertaking with many partner agencies, and although we’re just a very small part of it, we were very pleased to be helpful,” he said. “We are committed to helping the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies with augmentation of manpower.”

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