One Robinson detective spent much of last Wednesday turning away curious college students who wanted a glimpse of the Branch Davidian cult compound.
Robinson officers are among the scores of law enforcement officials guarding roadblocks on Farm-to Market Road 2491.
Branch Davidian cult leader Vernon Howell and his followers have been holed up at the compound since Feb. 28, after a deadly gun battle between cultists and federal agents.
“I worked a roadblock Wednesday night from 11 to 8 a.m.,” said Robinson Police Detective Wayne West.
“We had a lot of Baylor students coming up wanting to get through. We’d have to turn them around.”
West said the McLennan County Sheriff’s Department called in Robinson police the night of March 1.
“When it first went down, the chief called them and told them if they needed our assistance, we’d do what we could to help,” he said.
Since March 1, Robinson Police chief Mike Holder has sent up to four off-duty volunteers in two police cars, he said. “We’re using mainly off-duty people to go out there,” West said. “So we leave enough here in the city to deal with problems.”
West said he expected to send more officers in this week.
“It’s a different experience since it’s going down right here in Waco,” he said.
“We’re all kind of wanting to get out there and see what’s going on. Naturally, police officers like to get in on everything. I think just about all of us have been out there at one time or another.”
West said that as the standoff dragged on between law enforcers and cult members, lifeguarding the roadblocks was just as quiet, with “no problems.”
“For the most part, people have been very cooperative with the police out there,” he said.