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Statement on Hate Crimes Against the Asian and Asian American Community

The Division of Public Safety is committed to safeguarding all members of the Penn and University City Communities.  Over the past year there has been a steady increase in the number of physical and verbal attacks on Asian and Asian Americans across the country.  DPS has been particularly sensitive to the safety needs and concerns of the AAPI community.  We are working with our partners across the University to support those who have experienced bias-based incidents, regardless of the location of the incident.  Most of the incidents reported to DPS have been verbal attacks directed against people of Asian descent occurring away from campus.

The targeted homicides of Asian victims in Atlanta, GA last week has heightened the already high fears of the AAPI community across the country, Philadelphia and in our own community.

Hate Crimes will not be tolerated in the Penn Community.

DPS has taken several steps regarding these concerns including:

  • Visiting Asian and Asian-American owned businesses in our patrol zone to reassure them of our support and ways to contact us for immediate response.
  • Increasing Penn Police and Allied Security Patrols, with a specific alertness to potential hate crimes against Asian and Asian-American community members.
  • Advertising and proactively offering Walking Escorts to anyone walking in our patrol zone, as well as the Penn Transit Services.
  • Sharing the Flatten the Hate Campaign and information about the University Task Force for Support for Asian and Asian American Students and Scholars (TAASS) with our safety and security partners including the Public Safety Advisory Board, the University City Public Safety Group, the University City District which patrols west to 50th Street; posting information on reporting on our DPS Website, social media pages and at entrances to our DPS Headquarters.
  • Sharing the Flatten the Hate Campaign information with West Philadelphia Community groups, many of which have high AAPI populations, and reassuring them of our commitment to their safety.
  • Working with the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and FBI on the rise of Hate Crimes against the Asian and Asian-American communities.
  • Participating in information sessions and restorative practice circles led by the TAASS.
  • Most importantly, if you witness or experience such hate, including verbal harassment, please report it. Call Public Safety at 215-573-3333.

We continue to be committed to the shared community work of ensuring the safety and security of our community.

Maureen S. Rush
Vice President for Public Safety
Superintendent of Penn Police