Riding along with new private security unit patrolling Chinatown amid rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

Manhattan

CHINATOWN, Manhattan — It’s a sight that’s new to Chinatown.
     
Black Brosnan private security vehicles with emergency lights flashing and four cameras recording whatever is happening on the street, looking for signs of any potential crimes to make Asian New Yorkers feel safer.     

They are out due to a more than 400% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes reported to the police over the last four months compared to this same time last year, according to NYPD data.      

“When we saw the trend of rising violence against Asian Americans in our community we felt we needed to do something,” Bryan Paarmann, Brosnan’s Senior VP of Intelligence and Operations, told PIX11 News. “What we wanted to do was free of charge to effect a positive impact.” 

These private security vans patrol from 4 p.m. to midnight seven days a week, using a smart security system of four external cameras and one internal one which feeds back info to the command center.     

There, others are scanning social media and police communication for trouble spots. 
 
Many of the of Brosnan security personnel are retired NYPD officers. 
   
“I really think we are an extension of the first responders,” Paarmann said. “We don’t have jurisdictional authority or arrest powers, but we have a close relationship with the New York City Police Department.” 
     
Karlin Chan, who established his own Chinatown Block Watch of fifty volunteers to walk the streets of Chinatown, welcomes the addition of the Brosnan private security patrols and so do some local residents because, as many say, the police can’t be everywhere.
 
“The optics of having patrol car out there is good,” Chan said. “No amount of policing will keep everyone safe unless you put an officer on every corner. So yes, it’s an added measure, it’s good.”

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City this year compared to 2020.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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