San Jose says a new strategy is being put in place to address growing concerns that Asian communities are increasingly being attacked by criminals.
Policemen are making new rounds of the shopping complex here, where Shang Cafe gets loyal customers, but also the recent phone threats linked to racist abuse.
“Angry, angry, very angry, but we don’t know what to do during that time,” said Shang Cafe manager Yue Zhang.
The community has been reluctant to call the police in the past due to a language barrier and cultural reluctance.
“The police can be seen as a sign of anger and we want to convey that across the board.” Hey, we’re only here to build relationships, “said Eric Wang, SJPD officer.
Now bilingual officials are expanding to remove similar barriers.
In the VietnamTown shopping center, Dr. Thang Tran, however, said the recent crimes are not unique or new.
“Now the attention is on us, but this is nothing new. You know what I mean? “Said Tran.” I mean, ladies who have their handbags snatched away in daylight in LA, San Francisco, and here it was always there. “
Officers say they know attitudes don’t change with just the occasional foot patrol.
“I think this is something we have to be consistent in getting the message across in various formats, on social media, through the media and on a website,” said Tran.
An immigration support group, Society of Heart’s Delight, which turned to the police first, nevertheless called it a great first step.
“You now understand that the police take hate speech and hate crime really seriously,” said the group’s founder, Michelle Zhang.
Police say that’s key because it’s a big city with many parishes, too many to cover with just foot patrols. Getting members to actually report incidents is the real indicator that the new program is working.