Current and former firefighters of the San Francisco Fire Department are volunteering to help end anti-Asian American violence in their city.
On Sunday, an Asian woman fell victim to a strong-arm robbery and was dragged by a getaway car.
On Tuesday, off-duty firefighters patrolled San Francisco’s Chinatown for the first time with the San Francisco Police and Sheriff’s Departments.
“While we don’t want them to act on criminal activity, we do want everyone to be safe, to keep the members of the community safe, and to watch out for the elderly and vulnerable,” Sheriff Paul Miyamoto told KPIX.
Sheriff Miyamoto supported @AsianFireSF volunteers at Portsmouth Square, bringing comfort & resources to neighbors in distress over anti- #AAPI violence. The Sheriff also spoke to @KPIXtv addressing rash of #AAPIHate crimes. @SFFDPIO @SFPDNorthern @SFPDCentral pic.twitter.com/6mSWAgbWZx
— SF Sheriff’s Office (@SheriffSF) March 23, 2021
Retired San Francisco Fire Marshal Paul Chin and Asian Firefighters Association President John Choy are among those participating in the patrols.
Aside from surveying the streets, the volunteer team will hand out cards with a new tip line to help Chinese-speaking residents report incidents of discrimination and violence.
A day earlier, hundreds gathered in Portsmouth Square — a park located in the middle of Chinatown — to condemn violence against Asian Americans.
“Whether we are grandparents, workers, women, or young people, we all deserve safety and it is clear the current systems are not working,” said Shaw San Liu, executive director of the Chinese Progressive Association, according to SFGATE.
“We need to fight racism, economic inequality and sexism/gender-based violence with effective community-based solutions if we are to achieve true safety for our communities,” Liu added.
Anyone interested in volunteering may email the Asian Firefighters Association at [email protected] or call 415-891-9232.
Feature Image Screenshots via KPIX CBS SF Bay Area