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History & Mission
Reporting Hate Crimes
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The SAFE PLACE program is designed to address the underreporting of hate crimes and hate incidents by increasing public trust in reporting these crimes. Successful use of the SAFE PLACE program in over 130 cities, like Seattle where it was created shows that the business community can play a critical role in assisting the victims of these crimes.

The unique collaboration involves businesses placing SJPD SAFE PLACE decals at their entrance, to serve as an easily recognizable symbol that the SJPD and the business community are actively collaborating with each other to assist the victims of hate crimes and that the community as a whole cares about those affected by hate.

These decals indicate to victims of hate crimes that the location displaying the SJPD SAFE PLACE decals will call 911 on their behalf, and allow them to remain on the premises until police arrive.

The SJPD SAFE PLACE program is NOT designed for residential use.



The SJPD SAFE PLACE rainbow star is more than just a series of brilliant colors that has traditionally been associated with the LGBTQ community. These colors symbolize inclusion and intersectionality with any and all individuals, regardless of their race, political beliefs, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation and/or identification, or any other differences either actual or perceived. Although SAFE PLACE program was originally designed as a mechanism to assist the victims of anti-LGBTQ crimes, the rainbow symbolism was originally designed as a symbol of inclusivity and still remains as the program serves all victims of any type of hate crime or hate incident.

If you would like to be contacted by the SAFE PLACE coordinator, contact Officer James Gonzales.



For the police to respond effectively to any crime, they must be notified immediately via 911 so that the victim’s injuries can be treated, witnesses can be interviewed, evidence can be collected and preserved, and so the suspect(s) can be arrested. For every minute of delay in reporting these hate crimes, the chances of holding those accountable is reduced.

Many victims of bias-motivated crimes are fearful to report for a variety of reasons. These fears result in under-reporting and inaccurate statistics. Worse of all, not reporting these crimes allows the suspect(s) who commit these crimes to continue their behavior with other victims.

The SJPD SAFE PLACE Initiative encourages victims of bias-motivated crimes to report these incidents at designated locations in commercial business districts that display the SJPD SAFE PLACE decal. The staff at these locations have been properly trained to call 911 on the victim’s behalf, and will allow the victims of these crimes to wait inside the premises until police arrive.

Once the officer arrives, the victims are encouraged to explain the circumstances surrounding their victimization, and why the victim believes they were targeted by the suspect. The victim(s) should request the police report case number, and keep that number with them at all times in case they recognize the suspect at a later time, or want to refer to that case number in the future.

Why Hate Crimes Are Different

Crimes, in general, are committed by individuals whose main motivation to engage in criminal behavior focuses on four main categories: Greed, Passion, Retaliation, and Power.

Hate crimes are committed against the victims for a different reason, one that the suspect(s) do not commit for any of the above reasons, but rather on hate-fueled frustration resulting from their perception that the victim is, ‘different’.

In these cases, the victim’s mere existence is enough to trigger a suspects aggression which can range from school bullying, harassment, assault, or even murder. The perpetrators can either engage in these acts of violence individually or as a group; these acts can be random, opportunistic, or premeditated. In nearly every case, the victim cannot prepare for the incident, and is often too afraid to report the incident to the police, for a variety of reasons.



San Jose Police Department’s SJPD SAFE PLACE Coordinator & LGBTQ Liaison:
Officer James Gonzales: 408-893-7516

San Jose Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit:
Detective Sgt Johal 408-277-4161

Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Team
Phone: (408) 792-2976 Deputy District Attorney Erin West


SAFE PLACE in the News
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For information on adopting the SAFE PLACE Initiative in your jurisdiction contact Officer Jim Ritter of the Seattle Police Department at:

OUR MISSION: Create safe places to live, work, and learn through community partnerships. The Department maintains
a commitment to the following values: Integrity, Courage, Excellence, Service, Diversity, Innovation, and Respect.