Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart today announced that his office has launched a reporting hotline for discrimination and hate crime incidents – (773) 674-HELP(4357) – for anyone who feels they are being threatened or targeted as a result of their religion, race, nationality and/or sexual orientation.
Those who call the 24/7 hotline will receive a direct response to their incidents by Sheriff’s Office staff, who will help connect callers to other agencies, Sheriff’s detectives, or legal assistance if the matter would be best addressed by external resources.
“With the F.B.I. reporting spikes in hate crimes nationwide, this will act as a pro-active resource,” Dart said. “Hate crimes should not be dismissed as a fleeting issue or only a problem outside of Cook County. Any act of discrimination or targeted intimidation within my jurisdiction will be met by the full extent of the law.”
The impetus for a dedicated hotline to report for discrimination or hate crime issues came after Sheriff Dart heard directly about a sense of increasing fear and intimidation in the county’s minority communities, especially the Muslim American community.
“The Chicago area has always drawn its greatest strength from the hard work and dedication of religious and immigrant groups. To protect the real strength of our community – diversity — we must stand up for these good people.” Dart said.
Sheriff Dart reminds the public that those in immediate danger should call 9-1-1.