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Top Asian officers form NYPD council

By HONG XIAO in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-11-04 23:14
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Hugh H. Mo (front row, second from left) and Thomas M. Chan(front row, center), chairmen of the Asian-American Police Executives Council Advisory Board; Stewart Hsiao Loo (second row, center), president of the AAPEX Advisory Board, and other board members Friday at NYPD headquarters in New York. HONG XIAO / CHINA DAILY

The Asian American Police Executives Council (AAPEX) has been established in the New York Police Department (NYPD) to promote leadership and encourage professional development through a mentoring program modeled after the department's rank structure.

Owing to the unprecedented growth in the number of executives of Asian descent in the NYPD, the fraternal organization composed of Asian American executives ranked captain and higher announced its formation on Friday at NYPD headquarters.

"The formation of AAPEX is a watershed event in the history of the New York City Police Department, as well in the Asian community and the community at large," said Hugh H. Mo, former NYPD deputy commissioner of trial. He was the first Asian American to attain that rank.

The impetus for the founding of AAPEX comes from the inspiration, support, and commitment from Mo and Thomas M. Chan, chief of transportation, with both serving as chairmen of the AAPEX Advisory Board, whose membership includes other Asian American executives.

"I feel the advancement and growth of Asian Americans in law enforcement will help all New Yorkers of Asian descent," said Chan, a 38-year veteran of the department and the highest-ranking uniformed officer of Asian American descent.

Mo recalled that 35 years ago, Asian American police officers in the department numbered fewer than 20, without a single sergeant. Today, East and South Asian uniformed officers in the department number 3,000, or 8.5 percent of the NYPD's 36,000 uniformed members. Among them, about half of the department's Asian officers are of Chinese descent.

According to Mo, there are 21 captains and 13 lieutenants eligible to be promoted to captain. Once promoted, Asian American executive members will account for more than 10 percent of the total number of 350 NYPD captains.

Mo explained that the foundation of upper management of the NYPD is built from the ranks of captains. The rank-and-file officer in the department advances by way of promotion exam to sergeant, lieutenant and captain. Beyond the rank of captain, deputy inspector, inspector and chief, all discretionary promotions are made by the police commissioner. 

However, the opportunities for Asian American advancement to higher management in the department start with having a critical mass of captains, Mo said.

"Thus, when Asian American captains reach 10 percent and beyond it bodes well that Asian Americans would also be proportionately represented in the upper executive ranks of the department," said Mo.

"The formation of AAPEX is a historic development in the NYPD in that the promotional exam provides advancement by merit and equal opportunity to AA officers, and is also evidence of the department's commitment to diversity, integration and assimilation of its Asian American officers," Mo added.

AAPEX is led by President and Captain Stewart Hsiao Loo, commanding officer of Manhattan South Detective Bureau, Group 2.

"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," said Loo.

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