As we navigate life during this unprecedented global pandemic, we want you to be aware that the International District Public Safety procedures and personnel remain strong and responsive to community needs.

Law enforcement officers continue to vigilantly patrol our district at all hours of the day. The Houston Police Department, the HPD Differential Response Team (DRT), and SEAL Security collaborate to provide the efficient public service that we are accustomed to. The DRT consists of specially trained officers and investigators dedicated to providing an extra level of safety alongside SEAL officers who serve as first responders.

Collaborating with business owners in our district’s commercial corridors remains a high priority for protecting both businesses and livelihoods. Our everyday district programs which work to reduce crime such as Nuisance Abatement and Graffiti Abatement are continuing to run as usual. With fewer individuals in public and on the roads due to our city’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we want to encourage mindfulness of your surroundings when making essential trips.

In addition to security, the International District has found ways to contribute to flattening the curve in the early weeks of the outbreak. Because nail salons were included in non-essential business closures, their supply of masks and gloves remained in warehouses unused. The International District took the opportunity to partner with salons in the district to make use of these resources, donating thousands of PPE masks and gloves to the local HPD station.

In early April, the District Chairman Wea Lee oversaw the donation of 10,000 masks to medical workers and first responders in Houston. We are extremely grateful for our public servants’ unwavering dedication to our city throughout this challenging time.

Essential industries such as grocery stores are still open and operating, and we want to encourage you to support local businesses when you make your necessary purchases. A disproportionate amount of Asian-owned International District businesses saw a decline in sales even before COVID-19 reached Houston. As we continue in this period of social distancing, know that our local grocery stores are highly stocked and ready for shoppers.

We fully embrace the practice of social distancing and the evidence of its effectiveness in slowing the spread of the virus. Wearing a face covering in public, keeping six feet away from others, washing your hands, among other public health protocols is not only something you do for your own protection, but for the sake of others in our community. We want to encourage everyone to continue following CDC guidelines and directives of our public officials, as we anticipate a gradual transition into our “new normal.”

Fred Bhandara
Public Safety Chair