NEW YORK — For the NYPD’s Community Affairs Rapid Response Unit, it’s about more than just a stepped up police presence in Asian communities in the wake a tragic shooting spree in Atlanta.
It’s about having a deep connection to this community as well.
Detective Suk Too speaks several Asian languages, something that helps open doors for victims of hate.
“If we look like them, know their language and culture, they will be more forthcoming with information, as well as a sense of comfort that we are here” she said.”
Detective Too and other members of the unit, lead by Captain Tarik Shepard, are just another layer added to the extra officers deployed in Asian neighborhoods since the Georgia shooting out of an abundance of caution, to help an already vulnerable community.
“Their culture at times is very shy and we want them to know be comfortable and we want everyone to know report anything that’s happening to them something that’s not right,” Capt. Sheppard said.
Over the past year, there has been a spike in hate crimes against Asian New Yorkers, both verbal and physical. This year alone, 10 incidents have been reported Last year in total, 29 were reported.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea believes the numbers might not reflect all of the victims.
“We think those numbers are much higher and I don’t think too many people will disagree,” he said.
And the crimes vary from brutal attacks to hateful words.
As the Rapid Response Unit tries to offer this community more support, they’re asking every New Yorker to do the same.