Commissioner: Nassau police to increase outreach to Asian-American community amid nationwide violence
The Nassau Public Safety Committee met Thursday to discuss ways to protect the Asian-American community against violence.
The county has not seen any major hate crimes against Asians, but members of the community say small crimes or microaggressions are happening, but it's not being well-reported.
Local leaders say many in the Asian community are scared, feeling they could be targeted next.
"They are buying pepper spray, they are learning self-defense because they feel like they could be attacked at any second," says David Chiang, of the Chinese American Association of North Hempstead.
Chiang pleaded with lawmakers to focus on improving relations between police and the Asian community.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder agreed he would do all he could.
"We need to have families involved and move away from the Archie Bunker mentality and move us in a direction that is more positive," says Ryder.
Ryder says Nassau County has not seen any recent major hate crimes against the Asian community, and leaders want to keep it that way.
Derek Chan, of the Greater Roslyn Association for Chinese Enrichment, says he feels confident that the commissioner has a good grasp of what's going on.
Ryder says he will increase outreach into the community, adding that in 30 days he would return to the county Legislature with a formal plan on how the police department will proceed.