The Oakland Chinatown Police Substation

By Walter Chinn

OPD Chinatown

Left to right: Carl Chan, DC Jeff Israel, Walter Y. Chinn, Victor mar, Frances Chow, City Councilmember Pat Kerrighan, Chief Howard Jordan

The new Oakland Police Department (OPD) Chinatown Police Substation opened on February 9, 2009 in time for the Chinese New Year. A good omen. The opening was attended by leaders of the Oakland Chinatown community and City officials. There were fireworks and a Two-Lion Dance performance by the Asian Youth Services Committee (AYSC) Lion Dance Team.

The first Chinatown Substation was opened in 1990 at the Pacific Renaissance Plaza; it remained there until this recent move to the more centralized section of Chinatown. The presences of law enforcement officers in the area have made the Oakland Chinatown one of the safest Asian communities in the country. In 1986, the OPD had about 15 Asian Police Officers; today there are over 130 Asian Officers. The Asian Advisory Committee on Crime (AACC) was instrumental in assisting the OPD in their initial drive to recruit Asians to law enforcement careers.

The Oakland Chinatown substation is a partnership between the AACC and the OPD. AACC is a community policing concept approved by the Oakland City Council in 1986. AACC was formed to address the growing concern of crime in the community. The success of AACC is recognized and admired nationally and internationally by law enforcement agencies. The Asian Youth Service Committee (AYSC) is the youth component of AACC that was formed in 1990 to address the social needs of the Asian youths of the community.

AACC/AYSC has gained Resolutions and Proclamations from the United States Congress, the California State Senate, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, the Oakland City Council and the California State Bar Association. The new location is at the lower level of the Gateway Bank at 360A- 8th Street, corner of 8th and Webster Street. The location is a rent-free arrangement courtesy of the Gateway Bank. Arrangements were made with the Branch Manager Frances Chow, the Gateway Bank Board of Directors and Officer Alan Yu, OPD Chinatown Liaison.

All office furnishings and equipment since the initial opening of the first Chinatown Sub Station in 1990 were donated by the community through direct contributions and the fundraising efforts of the AACC.

The substation is staffed by a full time OPD officer and community volunteers. The substation is open Mondays to Fridays.

The substation staffs are bilingual and available to take police reports and to assist with other issues of public safety. Law enforcement officers, OPD and BART use the substation to write reports.

The substation has a well-equipped meeting room where groups can gather for public safety issue meetings. At the present, AACC, AYSC and the Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) meet on a scheduled basis.

OPD Chinatown

Back row: Adrienne and Richard Fong, Cal Chun, Kevin Chan, Victor Mar,
Walter Y. Chinn Front row: Florence Lau, Audrey Huie

AACC/AYSC are co-founded by Walter Y. Chinn and Victor Mar, Past Presidents of the Wa Sung Community Service Club