Personal safety app stepping up to help SF’s AAPI community

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Citizen app will be partnering with the San Francisco Chinese American Association of Commerce to guarantee free, premium accounts to the city’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, according to a press release.

The press release stated that this is because anti-Asian hate crimes are at unacceptable levels. Indeed, according to the state’s department of justice, reported hate crimes against Asian Americans in California were up 178% in 2021.

Concerns about violence against the city’s AAPI population helped drive the successful recall of District Attorney Chesa Boudin a few months ago.

The premium version of the app “provides subscribers 24/7 unlimited access to Citizen’s team of highly trained agents through video or text whenever subscribers might feel unsafe or uncertain about their surroundings,” the press release states. The accounts will be in the amount of $5 million.

“If someone ever feels unsafe, they can talk to an agent, there are no additional fees or costs when you contact an agent,” the press release states. “This is not a replacement for 911 and agents will only escalate to 911 with user permission.”

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Citizen, a popular public safety app, has 12 million users throughout the United States, including 640,000 in the Bay Area.

“This means 1 in 3 Bay Area residents use Citizen to stay safe,” the press release states. “The free version of Citizen uses proprietary software that allows Citizen’s team of over 100 highly trained analysts to listen to law enforcement radio to provide essential location based public safety alerts.”

More will be announced at 11 a.m. today at a press conference at the Chinese American Association Chamber of Commerce in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood.