Madison, NJ (May 26, 2011) – The United States Asian American Law Enforcement Foundation hosted a panel discussion with law enforcement experts representing local, county, state and federal agencies Thursday at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Members of the Asian-American community praised the role of each participating agency, how they have interacted with its members and what steps the agencies are taking to further enhance their relationships with this community.
“Our organization exists to create mutual respect and to build a bridge between our community and the law enforcement community,” said USAALEF Founder David Chong in his opening welcome remarks.
The discussion was moderated by Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler, who has been with the Asian-American organization since its inception in 2003. Each of the panelists spoke about the importance of communication and making their workforce reflect the local population.
“We all share the same goals,” said U.S. District Attorney Paul Fishman. “We all want our communities to be safe.”
According to Fishman, Asian Americans now comprise 10 percent of his office.
An Asian-American himself, First Assistant Attorney General Phillip Kwon encouraged members of the audience to get involved in their local communities by volunteering and voting.
Each of the agency representatives stressed that they all work together.
“When you see something on TV, you can assume that more than one of us here was involved,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Ward.
Questions from the audience included: “Can you explain how your (Equal Opportunity Employment Commission) agency assists those who may feel have been treated negatively or denied employment in the workplace?” and to the US Attorney, “Your office has the responsibility of prosecuting public corruption. Quite often we read about elected government officials being arrested for acts of malfeasance. Can you give a brief overview of what you see is a common occurrence in these type of arrests and what our community can do to better assist your office to combat these type of public crimes.”
The following panelists attended: United States Attorney, District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman; FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Ward; Assistant Special Agent in Charge James Mottola, United States Secret Service; Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff, Internal Revenue Service; Special Agent in Charge Brian Crowell, Drug Enforcement Administration; Special Agent in Charge Matthew Horace, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; District Director Joseph Petrecca, U.S. Department of Labor; Director Charles McKenna, Office of Homeland Security; First Assistant Attorney General Phillip Kwon, State of New Jersey; Acting Major Gerald Lewis, NJ State Police; and Acting Director Judy Keenan, U.S. EEOC.
The United States Asian American Law Enforcement Foundation is an international organization promoting a mutual understanding between the New York and New Jersey Asian-American community and all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as to facilitate events that foster awareness of special needs of the Asian American community.
Through hosting networking events and community panels and working with local law enforcement and community leaders the organization is bridging the gap between law enforcement professionals and residents. The organization states that it is important to bring law enforcement professionals and residents together, and also that these agencies employ Asian Americans.
USAALEF maintains that that many immigrants are intimidated or do not understand the employment process for law enforcement employment. It exists to help interested applicants navigate through the system and understand that they have an equal opportunity for their desired job.