The Austin Police Department in Texas is increasing the number of Asian Americans on its force.
According to KVUE, 63 men and women were sworn in during a graduation ceremony at the Bannockburn Church. Several of the cadets were Asian American.
A year ago, AAPIs made up about 3% of the APD force but, KVUE reports, AAPIs made up 4.1% to 4.9% of the APD’s three most recent cadet classes. The department is committed to increasing its AAPI representation.
“My anticipation is, it’s going to be a long, slow, grinding process to continue to bring our numbers up,” Lt. Jay Swann told KVUE.
In October 2021, Commander Eve Stephens became the APD’s first Asian American woman commander, CBS Austin reports. Stephens was also the second-ever Asian American woman to join the force in 1999.
The young AAPI officers are hoping to help the Asian American community
“I just want to help bridge the gaps between the Asian community and the police,” Officer Ehlar Htoo told KVUE.
AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Please make a tax-deductible donation to support diverse news coverage about AAPIs and to fund the addition of a new reporter. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.