SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Due to the spike in hate against Asian American Pacific Islander communities in the U.S., a local association launched a program to keep the community along Stockton Boulevard safe.
It’s been dubbed as being the eyes and ears of the community.
Along supermarkets on Stockton boulevard near Fruitridge Road, it’s hard to miss the yellow safety vests.
“Just our presence really makes a difference,” said Frank Louie, executive director of Stockton Boulevard Partnership.
Working in pairs, the volunteers are part of the Safety on Stockton program.
“We want to make sure everybody that shops and lives around Stockton Boulevard feels safe,” said Brian Holloway.
This is the first time Holloway has volunteered, and he adds it’s time the community comes together to end the hatred seen across the country.
“It has happened else where, and we want to make sure it doesn’t happen here,” Holloway said.
Proactive is the word Executive Director Louie uses.
“We are always going to be stronger together,” Louis said. “We are united against hate — any kind of hate crime to whatever ethnicity you belong to.
He adds that the Asian community along Stockton Boulevard. referred to as Little Saigon, hasn’t experienced incidents like those in the Bay Area, and he wants to keep that way.
The program runs every Thursday to Saturday, and all volunteers are fitted with safety vests reads “SOS”, a whistle and walkie talkie. Louie says volunteers are not meant to be crime fighters but more of a deterrent.
“Their safety is our number one priority,” Louie said. “We don’t want them to be the guardian angels. We just want them to kind of be the eyes and ears for our law enforcement.”
It’s a simple idea that organizers and the diverse volunteers hope creates a huge impact.
“Show the community that we are not going to take this stuff lying down. We mean business,” said volunteer Joseph Fong.
Currently, volunteers patrol supermarkets. But they are hoping to sign up more people to expand their operation to other business.
Anyone interesting in signing up can visit stocktonblvdpartnership.org.