about LEAAP

Law Enforcement Association of Asian Pacifics

The Law Enforcement Association of Asian Pacifics (LEAAP) is a NON-PROFIT professional organization of both civilian and sworn law enforcement personnel that are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence. Our members come from a diverse cross section of law enforcement fields including Federal, Municipal, State, County and other agencies. LEAAP was founded in 1991 by a group of Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) law enforcement officers in Southern California. It serves as a fraternal organization that shares innovative ideas and friendship and supports the interests of its diverse membership. LEAAP’ s goal is educate its members, prepare them for promotional opportunities, advocate for its members and support them in times of need. LEAAP strives to highlight the significant contributions and talent that its members o f fer to the field of law enforcement.

The Law Enforcement Association of Asian Pacifics (LEAAP) is part of a fraternal organization under the National Asian Peace Officers Association (NAPOA). Here is a brief history of NAPOA.

footbeat in Chinatown circa 1977
Footbeat in Chinatown circa 1977

In 1980, Asian American Peace Officers in New York City were facing a dilemma: As a result of a ruling of a law suit in the federal district court, the composition of the incoming of the class must reflect the racial balance of the pool of eligible candidates. The ruling applied only to Hispanics and African Americans candidates who made up 1/3 of the candidate pool. Asian Americans weren’t included in the ruling as a minority class within the eligible candidate pool, and were included in the majority pool of candidates.

The Asian Jade Society (AJS) had never faced a situation like this before. After making some inquires through the Asian press, contact was made with the Northern California Asian Peace Officers Association (NCAPOA), based in San Francisco and the Southern California Oriental Peace Officers Association (SCOPOA). They had experience dealing with the inner workings of the political system. Paul Chu and Eugene Lee from the New York Police Department met with Randall Quan and Ben Lee from the Los Angeles Police Department, and Bryon Wong from the San Francisco District Attorney ’s Office to discuss the problem. After meeting with NCAPOA and SCOPOA, AJS used the information and advice to get a ruling favorable to Asian-American candidates. The ruling directed the NYPD to give Asian American candidates the same protection as that afforded to Hispanic and African American candidates.

This event demonstrated the need for formal communication among all Asian American Peace Officers. Thus, the National Asian Peace Officers Association (NAPOA) was chartered in 1981 during this meeting in California as a non- profit fraternal organization.

The need for strong representation, mentoring and guidance is as necessary today as it was when LEAAP was founded in 1991. LEAAP is committed to assisting in the recruitment, retention and promotion of its members as they serve throughout Southern California.