Sacramento, CA – On Friday, April 16, the San Francisco Chinese community leaders announced a new anonymous hotline that will allow Mandarin and Cantonese speakers to report important information about crimes by calling 415-558-5588. Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) led this effort and lobbied the San Francisco Police Department and Mayor’s Office for the creation of the new hotline. During an emergency, people are still encouraged to call 9-1-1, as the hotline is not a substitute for emergency assistance but it’s a necessary resource for reporting criminal information.
“I had to help a Chinese elder translate after she got punched in the eye and shoved off a bus. She told me the police couldn’t communicate with her,” said Alan Wong, City College of San Francisco Board Trustee and APAPA – San Francisco Chapter Board Member. “It’s time for our community to speak up but that means SFPD must have the appropriate language services for the Chinese population.”
This hotline is a step in aiding the communication barrier the Asian community faces, but there is still a lot of work to do to protect the community.
“Language access has long been an issue in API immigrant communities,” Deputy District Attorney and APAPA – San Francisco Chapter Board Member Nancy Tung said. “We can’t expect immigrant communities to engage with law enforcement if they don’t have appropriate services to report crime and be understood.”
The members of the San Francisco Chapter are working to help spread the word about the hotline through informational flyers and cards. They are also working on increasing access to the hotline by including more languages.
“APAPA is proud of its members for their tireless efforts in fighting Asian hate and providing resources to all APIs, especially the vulnerable members of our community,” said Yen Marshall, APAPA National Executive Director.
If you or anyone you know has any information about criminal activities in the San Francisco Area, do not hesitate to call the anonymous hotline at 415-558-5588.