EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso City Council Representative for District 3, Cassandra Hernandez bringing up concerns of city staff including fire and police as the community assists with the hundreds of migrants crossing the border into El Paso daily.

“My concern is with our city services, I mean I can’t go anywhere without people saying like hey pull out my weeds, making sure we improve our response rates so it is concerning to me that we are utilizing public services,” said Representative Hernandez.

Requesting the Office of Emergency Management be clear with the city council about what departments and from what district staff is being pulled.

“I need to be able to convey to my constituents hey your firehouse is short fire fighters’, your regional command center is short police officers, it’s going to be short for response times, were going to have delayed response times your public services are not going to be operating at full capacity because of this response it’s no longer going to be an emergency if we are going to be doing this for long term,” said Hernandez.

City Deputy Manager Mario D’Agostino explained that while city staff is being used, departments do have minimum staffing.

“There was a comment made that services, police and fire services were suffering out in the community and I wanted to be very clear on that, that we have minimum staffing and so we make sure that those trucks are operational daily,” said D’Agostino.

D’Agostino reiterates that departments are staffed throughout the day and that it’s those employees working extra hours are those filing in on the fire trucks and police units.

“We talked about the number of people working this it creates over time so when they’re working assigned to this operation they’re working on this to fill their seats back at their day to day job so the ones filling in on that fire truck, that ambulance or that police unit they might be the ones on overtime that day so that’s where it’s getting covered by,” said D’Agostino.

City Council Representatives, Hernandez, and Isabel Salcido, the Representative for District 5 talked about the possible need to outsource for migrant related operations.

“I agree with you representative Salcido we need to have conversations about outsourcing these programs and these operations because it is unfair that you utilize all of your resources in one department which is the Office of Emergency Management in the event of another emergency what is our failsafe what plan do you have if there is another dramatic event,” said Hernandez.

El Paso City Manager Tommy Gonzalez commented on the concerns about getting reimbursed if there is outsourcing.

“The reason why the outsourcing is a concern is because of being able to recover all of those dollars that may not be considered reimbursable so I just want to be clear about that,” said Gonzalez.

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