EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. (WLAX) — Eau Claire police spend the day Saturday at the Hmong Mutual Assistance Association hosting Hmong Youth Day. Sgt. Andy Wise said he hopes the event will help law enforcement build trust in the community.
“[The event is] just geared at reaching Hmong youth and Hmong families and introducing them to the police department, various things that we do and trying to build upon those important relationships,” Wise said.
Officers and children took part in several activities including basketball games, checking out the squad cars and trying out the department’s robot. There were even demonstrations from ECP’s four-legged officer.
HMAA executive director True Vue said the experience for the children is a lot more than just fun and games.
“We just want to make sure that our relationship with the police department is a positive relationship, and that if we were to see them out in the community or at school, that they could say that this is someone that they could trust and that they could go to and that they know what their job is.”
Wise said officials need to do more than just tell the community that they are their to support them.
“Any police department, for that matter, can say that we’re there for our community,” he said. “But is events like this that show that we stand behind that word because we’re out here and our interest is really in just getting to know people, building that trust comes from. That’s where those opportunities come from to learn and grow from each other.”
Vue said to make good on their promises to the Hmong and other minority communities, ECPD needs to continue hosting events such as Saturday’s event.
“It really is making that effort and to continue with that relationship year after year and working, not just having one event a year, but to continue having more events or more trainings with the police officers.”