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New buddy system program in Elk Grove begins to help keep AAPI community safe from hate crimes

Elk Grove's mayor says the new buddy system program will help the AAPI community feel safe and secure.

Elk Grove mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen said the city’s new buddy program for the Asian American Pacific Islanders community will allow people to feel more secure. Elk Grove police chief Timothy Albright says his team will assist with coordinating the new program.

The program allows people who want someone to join them on any daily activity, from walking to the grocery store or going to a doctor's appointment, to call (916) 691-5246 and be connected with a volunteer. This comes as the United States has seen a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, including people attacked while out walking in broad daylight.

“Our goal is to plug them into community-based organizations and the great volunteers that are apart of those to help them to be their buddy to help take them to and from so they have a higher level of safety,” Albright said. “Our buddy program here today that we are talking about, the mayor initiative, is a real chance for our community-based organizations to come alongside our community members and those of AAPI Community."

Albright says the buddy system will not include police officer escorts, but law enforcement will step in if a crime is committed.

“Law enforcement won’t be involved in that but certainly at any point that anyone feels they have been affected, or have questions on whether or not they are a victim of a hate crime, we are here for,” Albright said.

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