Four More Korean Americans Become LAPD Officers

November 2, 2013

Joining the police force is becoming an increasingly popular career option for L.A. Koreans 

Four Koreans graduated from Los Angeles Police Academy on Friday. Kim Go(from left), Park Kyung-han, Park Myung-hun, Lee Ji-sung posed for picture after the ceremony. (Park Sang-hyuk)

Four Koreans graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy on Friday. Kim Go (from left), Park Kyung-han, Park Myung-hun, and Lee Ji-sung posed for a picture after the ceremony. (Park Sang-hyuk)

By Lee Woo-su


Becoming a police officer is an increasingly popular career option for Koreans in Los Angeles. Four more Koreans graduated from the Los Angeles Police Academy on Friday.

They are Kim Ko, Lee Ji-sung, Park Kyung-han, and Park Myung-hun. Kim, 22, is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in history, and will work out of the Mission Hills station. Lee, who made a career change from teaching at the age of 39, has been assigned to the Olympic station. Park Kyung-hwan, 23, is a psychology major from UC Riverside and will patrol out of the North East station near Koreatown. Park Myung-hun, also 23, will work from the Valley station.

During the last five months alone, a total of six Koreans became members of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), reflecting its growing popularity. According to the Los Angeles Police Academy’s only Korean instructor Paul Ahn, they receive more than 100 Korean applicants per every 24-week session.

Ahn says he can feel the change in perception among young Korean men and is surprised to see so many Korean applicants. He also says he is proud of the quality of the Korean applicants.

Commander Andy Smith of the LAPD’s Media Relations and Community Affairs Group finds the increasing trend to be a very positive one – as the Korean community grows, more officers who are familiar with Korean culture are needed. He went on to say that the LAPD still does not possess enough Korean officers and encouraged more Koreans to apply.

According to the LAPD, the number of Korean officers have increased from about 150 to 250 in just a few years. The LAPD employees over 10,000 officers and approximately 700 are  of Asian descent.

One Comment

  1. Smithers Jones

    November 5, 2013 at 5:00 AM

    The same is not true for Montgomery Township, Montgomery County, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. According to the 2010 Consolidated Annual Performance & Evaluation Report (CAPER), the population of Montgomery Township is 22.3% Asian; neighboring Lansdale Borough is 18.8% Asian; and neighboring Upper Gwynyd is 17.6% Asian. With the many Asian markets, stores and businesses in the area, many Asian-Americans come into the area daily. I’ve witnessed a few interactions between white Montgomery Township police officers and Asian-Americans, and the white Montgomery Township officers have been patronizing toward the Asian-Americans, and worse. There are 39 officers and three staffers listed on the MTPD Website. None of them appear to be Asian-American. Given the racial makeup of Montgomery Township, why does it have no Asian-Americans on its police force?