Police Academy Director Signs Graduation Certificates In Chinese

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John Oyewale Contributor
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A police academy director in Northern Virginia drew a rebuke from a police chief for signing graduation certificates in Chinese rather than English Thursday, according to NBC4 Washington.

“I just found out that the academy graduation certificates were signed by you in some other language, not in English. This is unacceptable for my agency,” the Herndon Police Department (HPD) Chief Maggie DeBoard said in an email to Chinese-American Maj. Wilson Lee, Director of the Fairfax County Police Criminal Justice Academy (CJA), according to the report. Lee had signed the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy graduation certificates with his legal name, Lee Wai-Shun, in what appeared to be Chinese fonts, a video report from the outlet showed.

“Because we operate in our profession on a written common platform of English, I asked to have our officers’ certificates reissued to the graduates with the commander’s name written in English, as has always been the tradition,” DeBoard said in a statement to the outlet. The HPD reportedly had sent its first class of officers to the academy since Lee assumed the position of director over a year ago.

DeBoard reportedly faced criticism in private from Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) Chief Kevin Davis, who allegedly accused DeBoard of being racist and “made other disparaging remarks” to DeBoard, which DeBoard said she “quickly dispelled.”

“There was no intention of racial insensitivity on my part when I made the request to address this change, and it is quite concerning from a professional standpoint that he has chosen to raise this issue outside of our agencies and place judgement on my character,” DeBoard reportedly told NBC4 Washington, adding that the HPD always “embraced and celebrated diversity.” (RELATED: Blue City Cop Sues For Right To Change His Race)

The FCPD, however, reportedly said it was proud of Lee’s leadership of the CJA and that it has no plan to heed DeBoard’s request. “Our last several recruit classes are majority minority as we make historic strides to better reflect the community we serve,” said the FCPD via a statement to NBC4 Washington. “Any expressed sentiments that appear to take issue with these realities are unfortunate and not reflective of Fairfax County’s commitment to our inclusive One Fairfax mission.”

About two of every ten individuals in Fairfax County is Asian, according to the outlet.