History of NAPOA

The National Asian Peace Officers’ Association (NAPOA) was established in July, 1980 to further the goal of self-empowerment on a national scale, create networking opportunities, and foster a fraternal relationship with all Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) law enforcement officers throughout the United States. AAPIs consist of a vast array of cultures and hundreds of languages and dialects. Asian American refers to Americans with origins from one or more of the 28 Asian nations. Pacific Islanders refers to Native Hawaiians and other natives living in the US protectorates of Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, or Americans with origins from one or more of the 19 Pacific island nations. (See: http://www.epa.gov/aapi/primer.htm). 

At the inaugural NAPOA conference held in San Francisco in July, 1980, the Asian Jade Society of the New York City Police Department, the California Asian Peace Officers Association, and the Northern California Asian Peace Officers Association became charter members of the National Asian Peace Officers’ Association or NAPOA.  The mission of NAPOA to “Promote diversity within the law enforcement community and open doors for advancement through leadership training, education and mentorship,” was defined during this inaugural conference.

NAPOA established partnerships with AAPI communities across the nation to address issues and concerns of interest when dealing with law enforcement. This collaboration resulted in a greater understanding of the role of law enforcement, along with an increased interest by members of the AAPI community to serve in law enforcement positions at the local, state and federal levels. Law enforcement agencies became increasingly aware of the benefits of hiring officers with an AAPI heritage due to their critical language skills and cultural diversity.  In recent years, AAPI officers have assumed greater responsibility in their respective departments, rising to management and executive leadership positions at the highest levels. NAPOA continues to promote the interests of AAPI officers through political action, career development, mentorship programs, technical training, management and leadership development courses, and an annual training symposium. 

The annual training symposium, traditionally held in August, provides a forum for NAPOA members and affiliates from around the world to exchange ideas and strategies to implement effective community policing practices and protect the general public. 

Across the country, NAPOA and its Chapters are actively engaged with business and community organizations to provide training on crime prevention, personal safety, police-community relations, mentoring at-risk youths, and building community partnerships based on mutual respect and trust.

Additionally, NAPOA strives to develop partnerships with the international law enforcement community by collaborating in a number of innovative programs and technics developed by U.S. law enforcement.  NAPOA is a founding member of the National Council of Law Enforcement Organizations (NCLEO) whose diverse members meet regularly to discuss and resolve issues that affect all of our communities.

NAPOA takes an active role in assisting its members assimilate into the mainstream law enforcement community as equal partners by advocating for career opportunities and advancement through legislative initiatives and direct contact with agency and department heads.  The NAPOA Executive Board, with representatives from all sectors of law enforcement at the local and national levels, is proud to serve the AAPI community as the most trusted and visible AAPI law enforcement organization in the country.    

Founding Fathers

Sheriff Harry Lee

Detective Paul Chu

Detective Eugene Lee

Police Officer Arnold Lui

Senior Police Officer Ben Lee

Senior Police Officer Randal Quan

Deputy District Attorney Byron Wong

Charter Associations

California Asian Peace Officers Association (CAPOA)

Asian Jade Society – New York City Police Department (AJS – NYPD)

Northern California Asian Peace Officers Association (NCAPOA)