The NYPD is “actively working to recruit more” Asian-American female cops as the group made up just 3 percent of the total graduates in the most recent Police Academy class.
Korean-American Officer Soojin Kim, 40, who works in the NYPD’s recruitment office, says she knows first-hand the main obstacle that prevents many Asian-American women from becoming cops — “cultural background.”
“As a girl growing in [an] Asian family . . . your parents instill in you, ‘Be a this, be a that.’ My parents never asked me [about the law-enforcement] route, so I didn’t think about it,” she told the Post.
Instead, Kim said, she tried to please her parents and became a taxation auditor for the state. But she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.
Then one day nine years ago, she saw a blue NYPD recruitment advertisement — and decided to go for it.
“It’s irony,” she recalled with a laugh. “I took the test, and I got hired in 2014. And now, five years later, I am a recruiter here.
“At the end, law enforcement, it was a clear call.”
Now-retired Detective Agnes Chan can relate.
In 1980, she became the first Asian-American woman to join the NYPD.
As of last month, there were 246 Asian-American women on the force. In all, there are a little under 3,000 Asian-Americans in the 36,000-strong department.
In a statement to the Post, NYPD spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McCrorie said the NYPD “constantly strives to have our officers reflect the diverse community they serve” and is “actively working to recruit more Asian women into the ranks of the NYPD.”
Chan recalled her own journey in joining the NYPD — while her mother pleaded with her to choose another career path.
There were only three other Asian-Americans in her Police Academy class, Chan said, adding that they met each other on the first day and have since kept in touch. But she acknowledged that she didn’t immediately realize she was the only Asian woman.
Chan, who was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to the US at age 10, waited until the night before she was sworn in to break the news to her parents. When she did, her mother offered to give her money for cosmetology school instead.
“In Hong Kong, they don’t trust the police,” she said.
“There’s a Chinese saying — ‘Good son do not become a cop,’ ” she said, translating the saying from Cantonese.
Candida Sullivan joined the force nearly 15 years ago, putting aside her MBA and leaving behind a stable job in finance.
She had been working for CIBC World Markets in the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan when her life changed forever.
“I was down there for 9/11,” she said, holding back tears. “My whole life changed after that. I wanted to do something more with my life — I wanted to help.
“I just saw a lot of [the first responders] going towards something that humanly, our instinct is to walk away from — they had to go towards it.”
Sullivan signed up in 2003 and left her steady job of six years to become a police officer in July 2004. She only recalls two other Asian-American women in her Police Academy class, something that she said did not surprise her.
“Especially with female Asians, it’s definitely not something that’s embedded through us,” Sullivan said. “To be raised to go into this field, teachers, doctors, that’s what they focus us on. But I took a risk.”
Source: Read Full Article