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HPD ups patrols in Asian communities out of an 'abundance of caution,' urges public to be vigilant

HPD says the move is out of an abundance of caution.

HOUSTON — Unprovoked attacks against people of Asian descent are reportedly up as much as 150% in some cities.

In New York City, an Asian American woman was violently assaulted in broad daylight.

An elderly man was killed in another attack.

ALSO READ: Asian Americans grieve, organize in wake of Atlanta attacks

“It sucks dude," said Randy Cao, of Houston. "I wish things were different.”

Houston police said they haven't seen an increase in hate crimes. However, outrage isn’t lost on locals.

"I think it’s pretty crazy," Jennifer Yanez said.  "It’s very upsetting.”

The Houston Police Department tweeted a statement saying that it’s increasing patrols in concerned areas out of an abundance of caution.

Credit: HPD

“I had an email directly with Chief (Art) Acevedo this morning,” said Southwest Management District executive director Alice Lee.

The district includes the Chinatown corridor and adjacent neighborhoods.

"You can never have enough protection 24 hours, seven days a week and be totally safe from crime,” she said.

In addition to Houston police, the Southwest District pays for private security. Many businesses in the area do the same.

K-9 officer Kato and his handler Captain Headley were seen patrolling a parking lot on Wednesday night. There are also multiple surveillance cameras keeping an eye on the area known as "Asian Wall Street" because of banks on every corner.

A virtual town hall meeting is also planned in order to confront issues that have cropped up in large part thanks to rhetoric amid the pandemic.

“I think fear is a very strong emotion, as is anger," Lee said. "And what we prefer is, we want to work with our community, work with everyone, educate them.”