SAN MATEO (KPIX) — Saturday’s rally was inspired largely by a robbery that occurred not far from Central Park in San Mateo back in April. It has not been forgotten. In fact, residents are still mobilizing and putting together a safety patrol.
“There was a robbery of an Asian elderly woman,” explained Cindy Hui of the United Peace Collaborative. “She was just minding her own business, taking a walk. That’s an experience people don’t forget about.”
In response to that incident and others around the region, community members gathered in at Central Park Saturday. They said they want seniors to feel safe when they step outside here.
“Nobody should be having that fear to prevent them from doing that,” Hui said. “It’s so important for them to feel that vibrancy, to be able to go out and socialize and go about their daily lives.”
Toward that end, one group was handing out kits with personal safety suggestions, whistles and keychain sirens.
“Our goal is to create 10,000 safety kits and we’re here to distribute to the entire Bay Area,” said Amanda Nwe of Vibes & Smiles. “Anywhere from Fairfield, Sacramento, all the way to San Jose.”
There was also a training session for a group that will serve as an informal safety patrol in the downtown area.
“I really hope that this will turn into a collaborative effort that will sustain,” said San Mateo city councilwoman Amourence Lee. “And hopefully boost our community policing efforts, in partnership with our community.”
The police chief was on hand to add his support and organizers hope their effort will ultimately mean less need for the police.
“The main thing is to prevent crime,” Hui said. “We want to be able to have our presence here deter crime.”