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Tucson police aim to build better relationships with community through new forum

Police to host forum based on hate crimes
tpd hate crimes.JPG
Posted at 6:01 AM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 12:57:53-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Tucson Police Department is hosting a “Hate Crime & Bias” forum for community members this weekend.

Tucson Police Department detectives with the Street Crime and Interdiction Unit will be leading the forum.

The purpose of the new forum is to not only better communicate with community members, but also learn about whether they have had any issues with hate crimes or bias.

"We can try to see if there is an actual trend going on in a certain area of town or if something is picking up or not," said Detective Gilbert Martinez.

Detectives decided to host this kind of forum after they realized many community members weren't sure when they should report a hate crime, or even the difference between a hate crime and a bias.

Detective Martinez told KGUN9 he hopes that through these forums TPD will have a better idea of where and when hate crimes are happen.

"We know there is a lot of mistrust within the minorities, within the LGBTQ community's overall, and that way if they start seeing our faces we will start building some trust and maybe they'll start making more reports of what's going on," said Detective Martinez.

Through the forum, detectives hope to teach the community about the difference between a hate crime and a bias and how to properly report a hate crime.

The forum will be held at TPD’s Westside Service Center on Saturday, October 19. It will start at 10 a.m., anyone is welcome to attend.

In the past few months the Tucson Police Department has also been pushing their 'Safe Place' program.

The program aims to make community members aware of safe businesses they can go into and ask for help in case they are victims of a hate crime.

Through the program, business owners can get a 'Safe Place' decal by visiting this website.