HOUSTON, Texas – Law enforcement agencies across Texas are taking extra security precautions in the wake of the shooing of police officers in Dallas. Some units are implementing two-man teams for patrol while others are providing other security enhancements for their officers.
The Houston Police Officers Union announced they will be asking HPD officers to be paired up with other officers to increase officer safety, Breitbart Texas reported Thursday night. The police union also advised officers to “WAIT for backup” in a tweet.
All officers, ask to be placed in two man units and exercise extreme caution when responding to calls. WAIT for backup
— HPOU (@HPOUTX) July 8, 2016
The state’s largest sheriff’s office, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, will not be implementing two-man units but is implementing other measures to increase officer safety, Sheriff Ron Hickman told Breitbart Texas on Friday morning. “We cannot implement two-man teams without impacting response times,” the sheriff said. “We are asking deputies to check in regularly with other officers in the area of their patrol.”
Hickman said some situations will require dispatching multiple deputies and said they will do everything they can to make deputies and the public as safe as possible.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to our fellow officers in Dallas and their families,” Sheriff Hickman said.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office is also not implementing two-man units but has started extra security precautions. “Our office’s parking lot is normally open to the public, but we have now closed it for reasons of security for the county courthouse building where we are housed,” Public Information Officer Melinda Urbino told Breitbart Texas Friday morning. “Many of our deputies are already in two-man units,” she explained. “At this time we have new deputies on the streets in training and those deputies are paired up with a training officers. Warrant deputies are also paired up.”
Urbino said her department is sending some of their deputies to help relieve and support the Dallas officers. “Many other agencies are also sending officers to help,” she explained. Breitbart Texas reported the nearby cities of Arlington and Irving sent officers to Dallas Thursday night to help out.
Fort Worth Police Department media relations officer Marcus Rovero responded to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas and wrote, “We have officers working overtime to bolster patrol and officers will be riding in two-person units.”
The San Antonio Police Department did not respond directly to the questions about additional security measures but Public Information Officer Romana Lopez sent this prepared statement:
We are saddened by what appears to be a planned and coordinated attack targeting police officers in Dallas. Our hearts go out to the officers, their families and the Dallas community who have been affected by this horrific attack. This tragedy hits close to home and we are monitoring the situation as it unfolds. This is a sobering reminder to our officers that they must constantly remain vigilant. We also ask all citizens to be watchful and report any suspicious activity. Our Fusion center is providing updates and safety bulletins to our officers in the field as they become available. Officer and citizen safety is my number one priority and we must continue to work together as a community to ensure that we are all protected.
Responses from other departments contacted by Breitbart Texas are pending.