CHICAGO — The Head of Chicago’s Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) office is warning the community about the growing threat of hate crimes.

Special Agent in Charge Robert “Wes” Wheeler Jr. told WGN-TV that his team’s are working to deal with an alarming surge in hate crimes.

“It’s a priority for us to work those matters, particularly for historically victimized or vulnerable populations,” Wheeler Jr. said.

Agent Wheeler said ongoing relationships can often lead to valuable information to short circuit hate crimes before they happen. He also said his team will continue to work with the Chicago Police Department to address the persistent presence of street crime around the city.

The FBI encouraging community organizations to contact them when it comes to hate crimes or other urgent issues.

“The Jewish community, the Muslim, American community, the Palestinian community in Chicago, 85,000 people roughly, we’re here to protect you,” Wheeler Jr. said.

To reach the Federal Bureau of Investigations, call 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online here.