Providence has a new hate crime hotline, 1-877-3HCRIME (1-877-342-7463), a place to “report hate crimes citywide and gain access to valuable resources and support networks.”
“With reports that hate crimes are on the rise, this hotline will ensure that residents have the outlet and resources to report a crime and feel safe,” said Mayor Jorge Elorza. “We will not tolerate hate crimes of any kind in our city and if anyone experiences or witnesses one, please know that support is just a call away.”
Elorza was joined at his announcement by Rabbi Barry Dolinger of Congregation Beth Sholom, Director of Public Policy for the Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence, Jordan Seaberry, Providence Police Major Oscar Perez and Kai LoMuscio of the Providence Human Relations Commission.
The 1-877-3HCRIME (1-877-342-7163) phone line will allow individuals to report hate crimes citywide and gain access to valuable resources and support networks. This hotline is part of Mayor Elorza’s One Providence initiative aimed at protecting and serving every resident of the city regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religion, or disability.
Rabbi Barry Dollinger made the news recently when he reported that while “walking from his Pawtucket home to Providence’s Congregation Beth Sholom on November 12… a car pulled over and young men yelled, ‘Heil Hitler,’ before speeding away.”
Dollinger said that Mayor Elorza immediately reached out to him and he was grateful for the show of support, but “more importantly the mayor is demonstrating his support for each and every community that experiences crimes of hate.”
Major Oscar Perez said the Providence Police Department stands ready to take these reports seriously and the Mayor stressed that undocumented workers should feel safe calling the police. “The police will not inquire about the status of your documentation.”
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center in the days following the election, there were almost 900 reports of harassment and intimidation from across the nation. Additionally, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that two-thirds of hate crimes go unreported to the police.
“The Institute for the Study & Practice of Nonviolence proudly stands alongside Mayor Elorza today, reaffirming our dedication to ending all forms of violence,” said Jordan Seaberry. “Providence will not be a place that tolerates the hateful violence that is rewarded by seeing entire groups, ethnicities, races, or religions living in fear.”
The hotline is a direct connection to emergency management support. In the event of an emergency, the police will respond. Depending on the needs, requests, and comfort of the constituent, and the specific issues being addressed, the police and/or call screener may also involve a liaison or additional organization to help support and advocate for them.
Kai LoMuscio said that “right now the LGBTQ community, especially the transgender community, is afraid that what we worked so hard for the wins we’ve had in the past couple of years, will in part be reversed.” LoMuscio thanked Elorza for his recent efforts in reaction to the election rhetoric of Donald Trump.
The Mayor’s office will release reports of the data compiled from the hotline semi-annually, which will then be utilized to guide recommendations for police policies and procedures. For more information on the hotline and resources available to residents, visit the Mayor’s Center for City Services website.