A group in San Francisco is petitioning the Citizen App to post its real-time warnings of crime and violence in a number of Asian languages.
People want the app to report neighborhood-specific 911 calls not just in English and Spanish but also in a host of Asian languages to help the elderly.
“I wanted to do something, but I didn’t really have a clear answer what I could actually do,” said China Mac, a rapper and a member of the Asian rights group "They Can’t Burn Us All."
The petition said the update would benefit those who often don’t speak English and don’t want to get involved with law enforcement.
“With this app, they won't really have to talk to anybody. All they have to do is just turn on the app and they can communicate, they can report things all without being uncomfortable,” said China Mac.
Citizen App said the company welcomes the concept of multi-language crime alerts but is aware of the enormity of such a project.
“No easy feat because it has to be timely, it has to be fast and it has to be accurate,” said Dan Kessler of Citizen App. “If there are people who do want to help us go down this path, we welcome their involvement.”
One possible contributor would be Julia Quon, co-founder of Save Cantonese at City College of San Francisco.
“When I talk to people, one of the number one barriers that they have to feeling safe or reporting or calling somebody for a resource is language barriers,” said Quon.
“I think this is something that is attainable, this is something that we can fight for and get right now,” said China Mac.