For example, Grand Prairie Police have launched a new program called Ket Hop, which brings the Asian community and officers together in face-to-face meetings.
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — Grand Prairie Police launched a new radio show this year aimed at bringing its Asian community and officers together.
The show is called “Police & Citizen” on Radio Saigon Dallas“the oldest and largest radio station in town”, according to owner Tina Do.
Residents call and ask questions during the show — from open transportation laws to how to navigate while getting pulled over by police — and GPPD officer Thai Nguyen answers.
“We speak the language. They are more comfortable that way,” Nguyen said.
Nguyen is also bringing police and residents together in in-person meetings under the new GPPD initiative, Ket Hop.
Ket Hop means together or united, but in English it sounds like “keep hope alive”, according to Nguyen.
“Over the past two years with a pandemic, there have been targeted hate crimes against Asian Americans,” Nguyen said. “So we would like to tell them that we support them. We are here to protect. We are here to help you.
Grand Prairie Police aren’t the only department going the extra mile to reach their Asian communities in 2022.
“I may be their one – first and only – contact with law enforcement and so I want this to be positive,” Carrollton Police Officer David Lee said.
Lee is the school resource officer at Hebron High School, where a quarter of the students are Asian American.
“I can relate to a lot of their cultures and the kind of things they’re dealing with growing up,” Lee said.
It’s not just a career. For Lee, it’s a calling.
“So, I’m Korean. And culturally, especially in Korea, they are not respected either,” Lee said. “That’s why you see a lot of doctors, lawyers or something like that, but not necessarily, law enforcement, which is bondage.”
It is difficult to recruit Asian officers, admits the Carrollton police. So having Lee in Hebron High is precious.
“Law enforcement in the Asian community is kind of a taboo. And so when you talk to first-generation families, law enforcement isn’t what they’re really talking about,” Lee said.
While speaking and creating conversation – that’s exactly what the Carrollton and Grand Prairie Police Departments hope to accomplish this year.
“The positive light that you could be someone else: that’s really what I want to be,” Lee said.