Dallas Police Look to Hire More Asian Officers

By Grant Stinchfield
|  Friday, Aug 7, 2009  |  Updated 11:10 PM CDT
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Dallas Police Launch Plan to Diversity Force

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Dallas Police Launch Plan to Diversity Force

The Dallas police department is looking to add more Asian officers to bridge a cultural gap.
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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.

Nguyen said he believes that distrust leaves many Asian immigrants fearful of calling police when they need help.
 
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.”
 
Out of 3400 Dallas police officers, only 51 are Asian. Police higher-ups said they hope to increase that number as they try to fill 200 positions for new officers next year.

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