UST Welcomes 28 Houston Police Officers to Specialized Mandarin Chinese Language Training
On August 4, the University of St. Thomas welcomed 28 Houston Police officers to the Class of 2022 for specialized Mandarin Chinese language training at the HPD Southwest Substation. Over the past three years, 33 officers have attended this training with three earning scholarships to complete one-week internships in Taiwan.
In addition to being uniquely designed to meet officers’ basic needs, UST’s course is certified by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement for continuing professional education credit.
UST’s Taiwan & East Asia Studies Program Offers this Unique Training
The training program by the Taiwan & East Asia Studies Program in UST’s Center for International Studies is a vibrant partnership between St. Thomas, the Houston Police Department and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Houston. It is made possible through a five-year Taiwan Studies Grant.
Returning as the instructor is Jade Rush, who continues to refine the curriculum and engage the officers in creative and interactive instruction. “I am extremely excited and honored to be the master instructor of this program,” Rush said. “This year’s officer class is enthusiastic and eager to learn Mandarin, as well as Chinese culture.”
Better Serve and Protect
Dr. Hans Stockton, director of the Taiwan & East Asia Studies Program, established the training program along with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston’s Education Division.
“This training meets just one need for more effective policing and law enforcement relations with Houston’s Chinese-speaking communities,” Stockton said. “Equipped with some basic Chinese language skills, officers demonstrate to these communities their commitment to go the extra mile to better serve and protect.”
TECO’s Director General Robert Lo agrees. “It is a pleasure to see the HPD, Ministry of Education (MOE), and the University of St. Thomas working together on such a practical project,” Lo said. “This is what U.S. – Taiwan relations and Texas – Taiwan relations are all about.”
First Course of its kind to Equip Officers with Language Skills
Andrea Yang, director of the Education Division at TECO Houston, has worked closely with Dr. Stockton to produce this training. “This is the first course of its kind in the United States to equip officers with language skills that help them better connect to the community,” she said.
Houston Home to 9th Largest Asian-American Community
The Houston Metro Area is home to the 9th largest Asian-American community in the United States. Approximately 87,000 Houstonians are Chinese language speakers.