Photo by the Office of Governor Larry Hogan.

Governor Hogan today announced a series of statewide actions to combat anti-Asian hate and bias crimes in Maryland.

The actions come as hate-driven violence continues to threaten Asian Americans throughout the country. 

The steps include enhanced public safety and enforcement measures, better community resources, and more tools for educators and students.

The actions build on the efforts of a workgroup that Hogan established in April of this year, the Asian American Hate Crimes Workgroup. 

The workgroup was tasked with addressing the rise in violence targeting the Asian American community.

In October, the FBI reported that anti-Asian hate crimes increased more than 73 percent in 2020, marking the highest level in more than a decade. 

In 2020, there were 8,052 single-bias incidents involving 11,126 victims. Among these attacks, 61.8% were motivated by race, ethnicity, or heritage. 

A recent poll from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health found that 1 in 4 Asian Americans feared that members of their household would be threatened or attacked because of their ethnicity in the past few months. 

Hogan announced that the state will update hate and bias training for law enforcement agencies to include reporting of hate crimes. 

There will also be a designated Maryland state police commander to act as liaison for hate crimes.

To improve communications between law enforcement and victims service organizations, $1 million in funding will be provided to install translation apps on devices. 

Hogan also announced that Protecting Against Hate Crimes funding will increase from $3 million to $5 million. 

Additional improvements to community resources include making 211 Maryland a resource for reporting hate crimes, and the launch of a new online resource center

The statewide actions will also focus on improving resources for educators and students.

The Maryland Center for School Safety will develop new resources for educators, parents, and students on how to identify and report hate crimes. 

Hogan also said that the Maryland State Department of Education will be tasked with creating continuing professional development courses on Asian American history for teachers.

His office will also work with the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland to explore scholarships and fellowships to encourage more Asian American participation in journalism.

“The actions we are announcing here today are the beginning,” said Governor Hogan in a statement.

“We will use every tool at our disposal to help provide additional protection to those who are impacted by these crimes,” he said.