Statement by Mayor Angie Devanney
Over the last year and certainly more recently, we have witnessed the rise of hate crimes against Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) across many communities. Our neighbors in the AAPI community are our Berkeley Heights sisters and brothers. I stand today to lend my voice in condemning hate and racism against the AAPI community.
Unfortunately, our Township is no exception, as early in the global Covid-19 pandemic, adults and children alike were targeted and even blamed for the Coronavirus. Unthinkable. Heartbreaking.
Our Asian neighbors responded with generosity and compassion for our community as they raised funds and donated personal protection gear to our first responders when they needed it the most and more recently raising money for the BHPD. They are our business owners and business patrons and have launched community organizations geared to giving back to Berkeley Heights. The true definition of “neighbor.”
The actions of a few despicable people have caused pain and anguish over the last months, weeks and days. Hate has no Home in Berkeley Heights. Please report any bias incidents to our police department detective supervisor firstname.lastname@example.org. All reports are confidential. Officer Pooja Patel can assist residents who speak Hindi or Gujarati with any language barriers to help file a report. We are also identifying volunteers who speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam and other Asian languages to assist the Township.
Inclusion, diversity and creating a welcoming community is the priority of the BHPD and the Township. I ask every resident to join me and pledge to work together to #stopasianhate.
Statement by Township Council
We are deeply saddened and angered by the increasing acts of hatred and bigotry being directed at the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community. The murders in Atlanta last week were horrific tragedies that claimed eight lives and they come at a time when the AAPI community is under continued assault. We stand with our AAPI families and we ask that you join us in condemning any biased speech or acts in our community and elsewhere in our country. We will continue to stand up against all hate and violence of any kind against anyone. If you or anyone you know of has been a victim of hate, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Berkeley Heights Police Department. The Township Council rejects hate in all of its ugly forms and joins Mayor Devanney and the administration in opposing all forms of hate and racism including towards the AAPI Community.
We strive to be a welcoming community and we must all work together to make sure that hate has no home in Berkeley Heights.
Council President Jeanne Kingsley
Council Vice President Manny Couto
Councilwoman Gentiana Brahimaj
Councilman Alvaro Medeiros
Councilman Jeff Varnerin
Councilman Stephen Yellin
From the Berkeley Heights Police Department
If you or anyone you know of has been a victim of a hate crime, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Call 908-464-1111 or email Detective Sergeant Frank Mea at email@example.com. If language is a barrier, we can arrange to have interpreters available to translate. Our department stands firm in opposing all forms of hate.