HomeAsian AmericansSF Police announce new hate crime unit

SF Police announce new hate crime unit

Inspired by a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the city, San Francisco Mayor London Breed Friday announced the establishment of a new police unit to track hate crimes.

The San Francisco Examiner reports the new Community Liaison Unit will work with the Asian American Pacific Islander community as well as African American, LGBTQ, Muslim, and Latino communities to build trust and engagement.

“We want to make sure that anyone who is a victim of a hate crime or any other crime motivated by prejudice knows that their City and their Police Department is there to help them. This new unit will give the community a place to turn to when they need assistance, and where they know they’ll be treated with dignity and respect,” said Mayor Breed in making her announcement.

Mayor Breed also recently announced the creation of a Cross-Cultural Justice Cohort, which has 10 youth who are working to build a youth coalition between the­ Asian and Pacific Islander community and the African American community in San Francisco.

These moves have received a thumbs up from many Asian American leaders and groups.

“This is a time where we’re talking about racial justice. This is also a time that we are looking at institutional responses and looking at the role of policing in responding to violence and hate,” the Examiner reported Cynthia Choi, Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, said. “I think it’s going to be important that we take a much more holistic view on how to address these enduring challenges that our communities are facing.”

 “It is important for our monolingual Chinese and immigrant communities to feel safe and have more access to resources to live without fear,” said Sarah Wan, Executive Director, Community Youth Center of San Francisco. “The newly formed Community Liaison Unit is one step forward in being more intentional in building and earning trustful relationships with the community.”

“This new unit will help address the underlying causes of some of the safety issues in a linguistically and culturally competent way,” said Marlene Tran, Spokesperson of the Visitacion Valley Asian Alliance, current Southeast Community Facility Commissioner, and former Immigrant Rights Commissioner. “This effort by Mayor Breed and the SFPD is important to our community’s safety especially during this unprecedented time. I also want to take this opportunity to remind all our residents to support our police department and report all crimes.”

According to mayor’s announcement, the officers in the newly formed Liaison unit will act to improve communications on the status of cases between the police and crime victims. The officers will also make a high priority of regularly meeting with the community to build partnerships and trusts.

They will also connect the community with non-profit agencies and other resources to battle hate crimes and prejudice. It also hopes to improve outreach to the non-English speaking community and promote crime tip lines dedicated to non-English speakers.

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