In response to the rising number of attacks on Asians, especially the elderly, citizen patrols have formed on the streets of San Francisco, Oakland, and now San Jose.
The city’s Japantown is a quiet, close-knit community where crime is rare, but community leaders say they know by now that attack can happen anywhere and that they must be ready.
After the San Francisco and Oakland citizen patrols in Chinatowns, longtime San Jose police officer Rich Saito is recruiting volunteers to roam Japantown in red vests to deter potential attackers.
On his group website Japantown Prepared he will start training everyone interested in the zoom on Saturday morning.
“The really important part is checking, keeping eyes on the community,” Saito said. “We’re going to look for behaviors that basically indicate that the person is a predator.
One group that is especially grateful for the patrols is the Yu Ai Kai Senior Center in Japantown.
“It can give you the right tools and skills to deal with the situation and not escalate it,” said managing director Jennifer Masuda.
In addition to recruiting volunteer patrols, another Stop the Hate rally is scheduled at San Jose City Hall on Saturday at 12:00 noon. On Sunday, the group that founded the Chinatown patrols United Peace Collaborative will hold a community security workshop on their Facebook page.
“They are concerned about their mothers and fathers, their relatives, even ourselves,” said Leianne Lamb, a member of the United Peace Collaborative. “They just don’t know who could be a potential victim. So what is really important is that we empower ourselves. “
The various strategies from citizen patrols to public safety forums will surely help the community be more aware and better prepared.