NASSAU COUNTY - Community leaders denounced what they call a dramatic increase in hate crimes and bias incidents after several swastikas popped up in parks around Nassau County.
Education is one way officials say they are hoping to combat these crimes. They also proposed the establishment of a dedicated unit within the Nassau County Police Department to work with the public in another way.
The County already encourages its residents to stop the hate by reporting incidents to an anonymous hotline dedicated to hate crimes or by sending emails with information and photos.
"It’s a game changer for students being bullied at school and are scared to report, it’s a game changer for those in the workplace you feel backlash for reporting," said Christine Liu with the Chinese American Association of North Hempstead.
When it comes to the legal system, hate crimes in New York State must be coupled with another charge. Officials hope in the future they can be considered felonies, so people think twice before they act.
According to the Nassau County Police Department, there have been 34 incidents of biased-related activity this year adding the department is adequately staffed.