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Office of Police Complaints Expands Outreach to Asian Pacific Community

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

(Washington, DC) The District of Columbia’s Office of Police Complaints (OPC) recently met with the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC) to intensify outreach to people with limited ability to speak English.

APALRC is a non-profit organization that aims to ensure access to justice for Washington, DC-area Asian Pacific Americans with low incomes and limited English-speaking ability.  The organization also advocates for legal and civil rights of Asian Americans.

Persons with limited English proficiency have a primary language that is not English and therefore have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English.  Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, French, and Amharic are the non-English languages most frequently spoken in the District and surrounding area. 

OPC will conduct its student interactive training program through APALRC’s Asian immigrant youth assistance project, begun last fall, to assist Asian immigrant youth and their families with legal problems.  The interactive training program focuses on promoting positive interactions between the police and youth through role-playing and peer education.  OPC will also give presentations and distribute information to other local Asian Pacific American organizations.

“It is important for us to reach out and inform the Asian Pacific community about the agency’s handling of police misconduct complaints and other efforts to promote greater police accountability,” said Philip K. Eure, executive director of OPC.  “This enhances trust in law enforcement which, in turn, leads to safer communities by virtue of having people report crimes and cooperate more fully with the police.”  

OPC’s outreach to the Asian Pacific community comes on the heels of last year’s report* issued by the Police Complaints Board, OPC’s governing body, urging the Metropolitan Police Department to improve police services for people with limited English-speaking ability.

If you or your organization are interested in partnering with OPC or if you would like to have additional information about the agency, please visit our website at www.policecomplaints.dc.gov.  For more information about APALRC, you can access their website at www.apalrc.org.