HPD urges vigilance following Baton Rouge shooting

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Police officers in Houston are exercising caution following attacks on law enforcement in Baton Rouge and Dallas.

Sunday's attack on officers in Baton Rouge comes ten days after the ambush in Dallas that killed five police officers and local law enforcement is asking once again what they can do to stay safe. Houston Police Officers Union president Ray Hunt says they are sending thoughts and prayers out to the families of the fallen officers.

Most Houston officers requested to be paired up in the wake of the Dallas shooting and Hunt said no requests were denied. Some stations now have mandatory two person crews, but Hunt declined to say which ones.

"We know that four eyes are better than two. Four hands are better than two and two brains are better than one. It's just common sense when you have more persons there to respond to a call," he said.

VIDEO: HPD responds to Dallas ambush
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Reporter Jeff Ehling has the latest on local law enforcement changes in the wake of the Dallas shooting

On Sunday evening, pairs of officers were seen leaving central patrol on Riesner. Hunt said officers are now having to be extra vigilant, 24-7 on duty, without any downtime. The possibility of violence weighs heavily on the hearts and minds of all officers.

"Of course the anxiety level is up but we are going to do our best to keep our city safe. You all know that we are understaffed but even with the understaffing, our officers are going to work whatever overtime is necessary to make sure this city is kept as safe as we can possibly keep it."

A police officer shared pictures with Eyewitness News of an impromptu police appreciation rally that happened on the steps of Central Patrol on Saturday. It's a small token of appreciation during tumultuous times.

Everyone can and should be vigilant, Hunt said. People shouldn't hesitate to report anything that looks or sounds suspicious because that could help prevent another tragedy.
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