Maryland is beefing up its efforts to combat hate crimes.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced that a series of actions designed to curb hate and bias crimes and Asian hate crimes will soon be rolled out, including safety and enforcement measures, adding community resources, and educating teachers and students.
“The actions we are announcing here today are the beginning,” Hogan said in a news release. “We will use every tool at our disposal to help provide additional protection to those who are impacted by these crimes. I want to sincerely thank all the members of the workgroup for agreeing to serve this important mission at such a critical time.
The governor made the announcement with Robert K. Hur, who serves as chairman of the governor’s Asian American Hate Crimes Workgroup, in addition to members of the workgroup and First Lady Yumi Hogan. The group was formed earlier this year following a rise in violence and discrimination against the Asian American community.
“To make things better, to reduce ignorance and hate, we need concrete action informed by careful thought, analysis, and consideration of different perspectives,” Hur said. “I’m grateful to Governor Hogan and the First Lady for focusing attention on the important issues of bias and violence against members of the Asian American communities in our nation, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be part of the solution.”
As part of the efforts, public safety and enforcement initiatives will feature updated hate and bias training for law enforcement officials, including the reporting of hate and bias incidents and crimes, according to the release. Data will be shared between the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center and the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.
Initiatives, according to the release, include the recruitment of diverse law enforcement officials, including those who are proficient in multiple languages. Additionally, $1 million in funding will go toward the purchase of translation apps for law enforcement officials and victim advocates, while calling for the U.S. Department of Justice to release guidance for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act.
The state will invest $5 million in Protecting Against Hate Crimes funding for outreach services, according to the release, and making 211 Maryland a resource for reporting incidents and launching an online resource center.
As part of the efforts to curb incidents, the Maryland Center for School Safety has been tasked with developing resources for teachers, parents and guardians, and students on how to identify and report incidents, according to the release. Education efforts also include an Asian American history curriculum, encouraging more Asian Americans to become journalists, and producing online resources for teachers and the public.
This article was originally posted on Maryland rolls out spending initiatives to curb hate crimes