Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Dallas Police Look to Hire More Asian Officers

Source: NBC Dallas

Dallas Police recruiters want to hire more Asian officers as the city's Asian population grows.

Police say it’s important for the Asian community to be well represented in the department.

“Seeing and encountering an Asian officer that can speak their language, understand their culture, can help rebuild the trusting relationship,” said 6-year Dallas Police veteran Dac Nguyen.

Nguyen moved to Dallas from Vietnam 17 years ago. He said people in his home country have an inherent distrust of law enforcement that often persists even after moving to the United States.

“Culturally, law enforcement has been viewed and seen as corrupted, abusive and incompetent in the eyes of the Vietnamese community,” he said.

So getting officers that look like the corrupt officers in the old Vietnam will help right?

Korean business leaders said they would also like to see more Asian officers on the Dallas Police force.

“Bi-lingual is the key,” said Mike Lee, the president of the Greater Dallas Korean American Chamber of Commerce.

“If an officer can speak Korean he will get more information from Korean victims and witnesses," Lee said. "The goal is to build trust between community and law enforcement.”

Again wrong.

This main problem with the small Asian communities in North American is that everyone knows everyone and everyone talks. The gossip is usually pretty embarrassing.

So let's say for example I was raped or beaten. The last thing I would want is a Asian police officer coming to the house. If feel a white officer would better protect my identity and write a proper report. An Asian officer would most likely:

A) know me
B) know the guy who beat me
C) know my parents

He would be biased which may or may not help the case.
Also he would tell someone.. "hey did you know Tracy's bf, beats her! What a shame."

So honestly if there were alot of Asian cops around my neighbourhood, I wouldn't report shit.

The language argument is a load of bull to me. It's the job of Asians to speak English, not officers to speak Vietnamese or anything else.


J said...

Degenerasian, I normally like your posts, but I cannot believe you took such a myopic view on Asian Americans in law enforcement. Law enforcement officers are required to swear an oath of integrity, and part of that integrity is to maintain confidentiality for rape victims. To assume that an Asian officer would automatically be a gossip hound, simply because he is Asian and the victim is Asian is a bigoted viewpoint. Law enforcement officers will accomodate rape victims when they don't feel comfortable talking with a male officer and provide them with a female upon request. So if you're an Asian female and you hate and distrust Asian men, then Officer Wong will make reasonable accomodations for you to talk to someone you feel more comfortable with, like a white officer.

Officers help victims of crime, regardless of language or color. He or she needs to utilize every available option, and if that means speaking the language of the victim, then that's what he or she's got to do. Are you seriously going to tell me a rape victim who speaks only Spanish or only Korean should only talk the officer in English?

CBruhs said...


Speaking as an Asian American female, I have a totally opposite perspective to yours.

If something happened to me or my family that would lead to interaction with police, I would definitely PREFER to have an Asian American law enforcement officer handle the case. This is for practical/need-based reasons as well as those having to do with comfort and dignity- such as someone who can speak the same language as my family and possess a basic competency/understanding of cultural factors, risks, or stigma at play.

Plus, Asian women are at particular risk for race-based rape and hate crimes by non-Asians ( for which we often get blamed or dismissed. So the last thing I would want would be a white police officer showing up to my door who may just further the trauma and be more prone hold such beliefs - or at least an ignorance of the larger cultural context.

And it's not an Asian victim's "job to speak English", it's law enforcement's job - who's salary is paid by those very Asians - to protect and serve the community via whatever resources are most effective, such as language capacity.

Another a crucial component of providing such protection is the ability to maintain trust as mentioned in the article, and that comes most easily and naturally from having someone who looks like you, speaks your language, comes from your community, and is thus better equipped to meet your needs when it matters most.

sherdizzle said...

There are so many things that are wrong with this post:

a) Not all Vietnamese people look like the “corrupted officers” from Old Viet Nam. How do I know? I got evidence of that every time I look in the mirror or when I see my dad or my uncle.
b) Where do you come off insinuating that all Asian folks gossip? Based on a few people who like to “share information”? With that logic, all white people are pedophiles and whine about “reverse racism” and hates Blacks and Latinos and like Nascar. All Black people can rap and play basketball (which I know isn’t true cz my friend IB can’t do either).
c) It is NOT my job, my parents’ job, or any other non native English speaker’s JOB to speak English. The push and pull factors (thank you Ronald Takaki, R.I.P.) that have contributed to the displacement of Asians from their native countries have largely been due to US involvement overseas. The policies that have been in place to “support” refugees and immigrants in the US have historically been ineffective (ie. Placing Southeast Asians who come from tropical weather into places like Chisholm, Minnesota! Wtf is SNOW?! Receiving dairy products under government assistance, knowing damn well we’re lactose intolerant. Or utilizing curriculum based on research of native Spanish speakers to teach our folks ESL…it doesn’t work like that) All this is to say that, US policies has not necessarily done its JOB to support the immersion of Asians into this country, especially when it comes to learning English. So before you chastise the next 60 yr old Vietnamese woman for not speaking English, know the facts and reasons behind it.
d) I think it’s bullshit to think that a white cop would be more sympathetic or more likely to write a better report than an Asian cop towards Asian victims. I don’t even know how to counter you on this because I don’t even know what your logic is for that statement.

Personally, I would never move to a community where the racial demographic of the people who are sworn to “protect and serve” isn’t at all reflective of the racial make-up of the community. I’ve seen too many white cops shoot to kill folks of color to know that white cops don’t necessarily have my interest at hand. But that’s just me.

Anonymous said...

I think Tracy is actually an asianphle white boy!

Degenerasian said...

Woah! :)

James: You don't have to like my posts, we can't agree on everything :)
We don't necessarily need a cop who speaks the language.. a translator from either the police side or the family side will go.
I'm not taking a myopic view, I talking about the quote in the article that if Mr. Nguyen thinks that people in Vietnam have a mistrust for police, how would having a Vietnamese officer help?

Annonymous: I've been a victim of all that gossip, except the herpes one!

bigWOWO: We have translators for that. You had to learn Japanese in Japan right? I can't expect everyone to know English or whatever other language whoever comes from. I don't think I could get Vietnamese language service in Japan. (just sayin)

CBruhs: This is a good point. Having an officer with the same cultural background would be more comfportable but some of that cultural stigma could be an obstacle. Asian women are often scared to report crime because they fear of word getting out of losing their husband. The line has to be drawn somewhere though, you can't have an Asian everything to be comfortable. You can't always have an Asian cop, or Asian judge, or Asian jury.

sherdizzle: I'm not saying that old South Vietnam officials are corrupt. I was quoting the article. Mr. Nguyen says.. people think vietnamese cops are corrupt so lets hire more of them! Makes no sense. As for white cops killing others, I don't have any evidence so I'll take your word for it. I think all cops are sort of asses anyways.

I'm not saying having more Asian cops is a bad thing but

a) I don't like quotas of anykind in the workforce

b) I was adressing the two quote in the article that I disagree with.