Unique Partnership Aims To Fight Crime In Oakland

OAKLAND (KCBS) – When the city of Oakland pops up in the news, unfortunately, many people think it’s just another story about crime in the city.

But business leaders are hoping to change that perception as leaders in Chinatown and the Fruitvale District are joining forces to fight crime in the city.

“Every time when (people) hear something has happened in Oakland, it doesn’t matter if it’s in Chinatown, the Fruitvale District, up in the hills or in the flatland, many customers tend to not come into our city,” said Carl Chan, a leader in Chinatown.

KCBS’ Rebecca Corral Reports:

Chan reached out to Hispanic business leaders last year after a much-loved business owner was shot to death right outside his restaurant in the Fruitvale District.

“In order for us to reduce crimes, we all have to get involved,” said Chan. “Whether you’re a resident, business owner or someone who cares about our city, you should be a part of this crime fighting team.”

Chan is sharing what Chinatown merchants have learned and what they’re doing to fight crime. That includes installing cameras inside and outside shops and restaurants, learning how to report a crime and accurately describe a suspect and breaking the silence.

Chan said he believes businesses in Chinatown and the Fruitvale District are targeted because a fear of police might discourage some merchants from reporting the crime.

“Many immigrants do not trust the police. And because of the language barrier, they find it frustrating to try to report a crime,” said Chan. “They also believe that by reporting crimes, it will not solve the immediate problems.”

Chinatown merchants helped reduce crime by successfully pushing for a police substation in the area, something that Chan is suggesting Fruitvale businesses push for as well.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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