San Jose Police Work To Mend Community Relations

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A new survey by a well-respected non-profit that does outreach to low-income immigrant communities in San Jose finds a severe lack of trust in police, and now outreach is underway to improve police-community relations.

Residents in low-income neighborhoods such as the Alma, and Guadalupe-Washington turned out Tuesday night to voice their frustration with unresolved public safety issues. There to listen was a police captain, along with two city council members.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Allison Lasser with Sacred Heart Community Service said that a recent survey of clients found that 75 percent don’t report crime, but have problems with gangs, drugs, or street fights in their neighborhoods.

”The fight against fear is a daily process,” said Lasser. “And we need a police chief who understands that, and stops blaming immigrants and marginalized communities. It’s not their fault.”

Lasser told KCBS that she would like to see a new chief who speaks Spanish, but more importantly she’d like to see one that has creative cultural awareness and community policing.

”Our understanding as an organization is that there’s a huge opportunity here,” said Lasser.

Twelve percent of the thousands surveyed claimed to have been abused by police.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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