LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Spring Mountain Corridor is full of businesses and plenty of foot traffic as the Las Vegas Asian population continues to grow.
This is why Captain Michelle Tavarez who oversees the Spring Valley command, said it’s important to maintain the safety and security of the area.
“I know there has been some hesitation, historically in Asian culture outside of the U.S. the police can be viewed as corrupt and so I’m always partnering with the community,” Tavarez said.
Clark County AAPI commissioner Jennie Kim said Asian Americans may not always report crimes due to fear of discrimination or a language barrier.
“Asians in general are very private, very proud and humble and they don’t want to stand out,” Kim explained. “They want to make sure they’re taking care of their own things and their success depends on their hard work, right?”
Its ongoing efforts, include meeting with Asian community leaders and having a language line to help better understand how they can help Asians feel safe and report crimes.
Alex Kim, the President of the Korean American Association met with Metro police a few months ago.
“We had a really good talk on a lot of issues, especially the homeless issues and security issues, things like that yes,” Kim said. “We have really good communication with the Spring Valley division. “
Tavarez said community policing and engagement have gone a long way to help Metro police solve crimes.
“Had it not been for the community, we would not have been able to solve the Shanghai Taste shooting, so we’re very grateful that happened,” Tavarez added. “I know he’s still recovering, and I had the ability to meet that victim on more than one occasion and he is an amazing man.”
Despite seeing an increase in emergency calls from the year before, Tavarez said it’s actually a good thing.
“We’ve gone up about 500 calls for service which means we’re doing something right. People are calling us and they’re reporting,” Tavarez added. “Though my crime numbers may go up or the stats may go up. I would rather have them report it so we can investigate it and put those people in jail. Every job that we get to hold in this agency, you get the ability to learn something new and I’ve learned so much about the Asian culture and Lunar New Year and the celebrations. It’s an honor to be a part of it.”
Jennie Kim said this type of progress is key to showing we’re united as one.
“We need to start standing out and start talking about our issues because we live here and we raise our kids here, their education and with everything else it’s vital that we get involved,” Kim said.