Author Topic: Green Bay Police Swear In First Hmong Officer: UPDATED  (Read 4815 times)

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Green Bay Police Swear In First Hmong Officer: UPDATED
« on: August 27, 2013, 07:19:21 PM »

Updated: Aug 26, 2013 4:10 PM CDT
By Sarah Thomsen

Green Bay -
Green Bay Police maDe history Monday, swearing-in the department's first Hmong police officer.

The department hopes he can make an impact with the area's growing Hmong population.

Repeating the oath to serve and protect, Casey Masiak and Phuechi Xiong became Green Bay's newest police officers. Xiong became the city's first Hmong officer.

Asked why he wanted to become a police officer, Xiong answered, "Just growing up and being taught put yourselves before others, this job is exactly what that is, so I guess that's what steered me toward this way."

Xiong grew up in Ashwaubenon and says community is important to him.

While he sees himself as just another officer, he hopes he can use his heritage to build relationships within the area's growing Hmong community.

"I can speak and understand it, but I can't read or write it, so that's just a big advantage in itself. I'm hoping I can use that to help with other officers on calls and just assist them if they're dealing with the Hmong population," says Xiong.

His family believes that's exactly what the community needs.

"Culturally, language-wise, maybe he can help with that, understanding the culture, understanding the language, because there's a lot of Hmong people in the community that would need a lot of those assistance," says May Xiong, Phuechi's mother.

Police Chief Tom Molitor says the city hired the most qualified candidates, no matter their ethnicity, but hopes Xiong is able to help break some barriers.

"I'm hoping that he can impart some of that wisdom from the cultural stance on the members of our department as well. Every chance that we can to connect with the community is what we want to do," says Molitor.

More than anything, Xiong hopes to become an example for others.

"I feel like I'm going to be a good role model for younger generations or even people my age, so hopefully give them something to strive for," he says.

A few other departments in Northeast Wisconsin, including the Brown County Sheriff's Office, also have Hmong officers on duty and say the officers have used their cultural and language knowledge on many occasions.

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