The 110th Precinct in Elmhurst began a new initiative to reach out to the Asian community in September, after persistent under-reported crime and low meeting turnout among the Asian community (particularly among Chinese and Korean residents), according to police.
“If you saw one Asian face it was a lot,” said Debbie Pagano Cohen, community council officer. “It was time to focus on that. For such a large population, we don't see them at meetings."
The precinct began to translate meeting notices in Chinese and Korean, mailing them to key Korean and Chinese churches and businesses in September. Monthly community council meetings, and fliers on crime prevention and personal safety are also translated into Chinese, Korean (and Spanish).
September's community council meeting was catered with Chinese food (sponsored by Commerce Bank on Queens Boulevard). In October, approximately 120 Asian residents attended the community council meeting at the Elmhurst library, strategically located in a predominantly Asian neighborhood.
"It’s working," said Cohen. "Asian people are finally coming to the meetings.”
The next community council meeting is scheduled for this Wednesday, November 14, back in its usual location at St. John's Hospital. There will be no Chinese food.