A council for high-ranking Asian American police officers in New York City formed last Friday, marking the growth and importance of Asian Americans in the force.
Xinhua reported Asian Americans make up about 3,000, or over 8%, of the 36,000 uniformed NYPD officers. While these statistics haven’t changed much since NBC New York reported on the increase of Asian American officers in February of this year, Xinhua noted that currently 25 Asian American officers are at the rank of captain or above, and 13 lieutenants are eligible for promotion. Once the lieutenants become promoted to captain, Asian Americans will make up over 10% of the total number of officers ranked captain or higher.
Hugh H. Mo, former NYPD Deputy Commissioner-Trials and co-chair of Asian American Police Executives Council, founded the council, according to Xinhua. The organization marks the historical rise of Asian Americans in the police force, which Mo attributes to the Asian community’s “increasing embrace of public service,” and the talent and accomplishment of Asian American officers.
Mo who was the first Asian American to reach the Deputy Commissioner-Trials rank in 1984, called AAPEC a “watershed event” at a ceremony in NYPD’s headquarters. The police force has come far since then — in 1984, there were less than 20 Asian American officers in the force, and Mo said that not a single one was a sergeant.
Despite unprecedented growth since 1984 and increased representation in the past year, Mo said Asian Americans are still underrepresented in NYPD because the overall population of Asians in New York City is 15%.
However, AAPEX strives to provide a community and promote the interests of both Asian American leaders and junior officers in the NYPD.
“I believe it is incumbent for Asian American police executives to have a strong voice in the NYPD and to advance leadership development and mentoring of junior Asian officers to be future leaders in the Department,” AAPEX President and NYPD Captain Stewart Hsiao Loo told Xinhua.