Good Evening ladies, and gentlemen, distinguished guests, Madam Mayor. It is an honor to be part of this great event and to be speaking before you. I am very grateful and humbled by this amazing award.
I am Johnny Vong, and I have been a police officer for 13 years, proudly serving our great city of San Francisco. I am currently assigned to Ingleside Station, and with the support from Captain Hart, I patrol the area of Visitacion Valley with my partner Matt Leong, who could not be here with us tonight.
Today's event theme is Community and Unity, and I wanted to discuss how this pertains to public safety. Our communities are diverse - we have people with different ethnicities, cultures, languages, and beliefs. But we all share one thing in common, and that is we are all San Franciscans.
I believe I speak for everyone when I say that we want our neighborhoods to be a place where our children, our seniors, and ourselves can feel safe. Only united, can we strive towards the goal of making our communities safer. We need to send a message to those looking to commit bad deeds in our neighborhoods that we will not tolerate crime.
The police are only a part of the solution to prevent crime. Another part, and an important one, is the community, because the police can only be effective with your trust and support. When you witness a crime, after making sure you are safe, pick up the phone and report it to the police Be the best witness you can be by making a mental note of what you saw or record the event with your cell phone if possible. I have come across many cases that were solved because a member of the community was willing to tell me what they saw, or they provided me with video surveillance from their security cameras. People who do bad things need to be held accountable.
Lastly, and most importantly, care and look out for each other. Introduce yourself, and get to know your neighbors and the members of your community. Even when you do not share a common language, sometimes waving hello to someone can be enough to establish friendly relations. An example of looking out for each other is if you see a suspicious person, someone you never saw before, looking into your neighbor's car or yard - alert the police so we can investigate. Those who look to commit crimes do not like to be in neighborhoods where everyone is watching and looking out for each other.
*The speech was delivered by Officer Vong at the 61st CADC's annual banquet on September 20th, 2019.