The Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC) was created through New York City Council passage of NYC Local Law 46 and Local Law 47 in January 2019. While the legislation provided for the opening of the office in November, 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio, in response to an escalation of hate crimes, launched the OPHC in summer 2019. Embedded in the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, OPHC takes a holistic approach to preventing hate crimes, developing and coordinating community-driven prevention strategies to address biases fueling such crimes, and fostering healing for victims and their communities.
OPHC is strategic in using non-law enforcement deterrence, including public education, outreach and community safety models and preventative best practices. It also works with partners to develop responses for when hate crimes occur, including developing strategies so that the criminal justice system has options beyond arrest and prosecution. The office coordinates the City’s efforts to prevent and respond to hate crimes through an Interagency Committee on Hate Crimes comprised of city agencies and all the District Attorneys’ offices in New York City.
OPHC also supports NYPD training and responses that address the concerns of vulnerable communities to help improve the reporting of hate crimes; promotes victims assistance; enhances data collection and sharing; and works with the Department of Education to provide resources to promote respect and educate students about the consequences of prejudice, bigotry and hate on individuals and communities.