GLENDALE, CA — The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region announced the establishment of the ANCA-WR Hate Crime Watch program, aimed at assisting Armenian Americans and law enforcement authorities in dealing with racially motivated criminal activities, as well as hate incidents. In consultation with the City of Glendale Police Department, the ANCA-WR aims to serve not only the Glendale community, but also Armenian American communities across the Western US in battling hate crimes. Hate crimes are criminal actions primarily intended to harm or intimidate people because of their race, ethnicity, nationality or national origin, sexual orientation, religion, or other minority group status. Hate incidents are instances of escalated situations, which end up in racial slurs or hateful expressions. The latter are not categorized by law enforcement authorities as criminal acts, but in most cases a report is created and maintained on file. In addition to calling law enforcement authorities, Armenian Americans who become victims of hate crimes will be able to call the ANCA-WR Hate Crime Watch hotline to report incidents both in Armenian and in English, and information will be provided to callers at the time of the call or at a later time as to how to proceed with law enforcement authorities. The ANCA-WR Hate Crime Watch comes at a time when there is increased concern that Armenian Americans might be mistakenly identified and targeted for hate crimes, as a result of general anti-Middle Eastern and Muslim sentiments sweeping the country in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Incidents have been reported in various communities, where individuals of various backgrounds have been attacked—in some cases fatally—as targets of anger and blind hate. “The imperative in this time of unity in our country is that we not only fight against the hate that the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks unleashed upon us all, but that we also take a unequivocal stance against hate perpetrated in our communities against innocent Americans,” explained ANCA-WR Executive Director Alex Sardar. “The ANCA-WR Hate Crime Watch will provide an additional resource to our communities across the Western United States, particularly in areas with large concentrations of Armenian Americans, to report such incidents and to fight against them.” With the help of the Glendale Police Department, reports and incidents will be routed to the appropriate officials in and outside of the City of Glendale. ANC – Glendale Chapter representative Pierre Chraghchian said that the service provided by the ANCA-WR will be a welcomed addition to the long list of services already available in the Armenian American community to combat social ills and to deal with difficult situation. “The ANCA-WR Hate Crime Watch will be another mechanism that our organization will have available for use in the Glendale community by all residents in the City to create more harmonious and quality living conditions,” stated the community leader. The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.