The Oakland Police Department is now able to receive confidential information about suspected illegal drug activity from tipsters who speak languages other than English.
The police department's Drug Hotline, at 238-DRUG, or 238-3784, is now available for use by those who speak Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese.
The hotline, which allows citizens to provide anonymous tips about suspected drug dealing in their neighborhoods, has existed since the mid 1980s.
Its transition to include languages other than English was conducted by Oakland's Equal Access Office, which was created a year ago after the city council passed an ordinance requiring all city agencies to make services available in languages spoken by 10,000 or more Oaklanders.
Police Chief Richard Word said that community involvement can help to make a difference in fighting drug activity by allowing police to deploy their services more efficiently. He added that expanding the services to non-English speakers will make the service more effective.
“By working together, the Oakland Police Department and neighborhood residents can reduce crime and make neighborhoods safer,” Word said. “We encourage our non-English speaking community members to call the anonymous drug hotline.”