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Santa Clara County wants department to focus on hate crimes

hate crimes becker1999.jpg
Paul Becker (contact: pbecker1@u
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Flickr / Creative Commons

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors recently directed county workers to come up with a plan for implementing dozens of recommendations for addressing hate crimes.

This would include developing a reporting system for hate-based incidents and making data about these incidents more transparent to the public. The board also asked for more details about the creation of a new county office that would receive and track reports of hate incidents and crimes.

A couple of supervisors said they were reluctant to green light a new office, which would require money and personnel. Supervisor Cindy Chavez, who co-introduced the referral with Supervisor Otto Lee, said she has no preference on whether a new office is created, as long as some department is receiving reports and tracking incidents.

Chavez said this is a problem because it leaves the county with incomplete data for tracking criminal acts motivated by race, gender, religion or other characteristics.

Available data suggests these incidents are occurring with greater frequency in San Jose. The San Jose Police Department reported 116 hate crimes in 2021, compared to 89 in 2020 and 33 in 2019.