SACRAMENTO - The Sacramento Police Department said its diversity was the key reason a potentially deadly situation came to a peaceful end this week.
An undercover detective became the critical link to the suspect in a 3-hour standoff Tuesday. Police said the officer helped persuade a fellow Hmong to peacefully give up.
When officers came to arrest 27-year-old Xa Lor at a home on Olmstead Avenue on Tuesday morning for a parole violation, he refused to come out. He barricaded himself in the home with his 6-month-old child.
The detective,who is still actively undercover,shared a common bond with the suspect because of his Hmong heritage and culture.
"I went up to the door. We had face to face confrontation," the detective said. "I'm sure he saw me and he said, 'Hey, there's a guy that looks like me, and he speaks my language!'"
"The officers were safer. Everybody was safer because of that cultural diversity and that connection he was able to make," Sgt Zachary Bales explained.
"I played a very small role in it," the detective said. "But the bottom line, I was able to communicate with him. Both of us speak Hmong."
Sacramento police department has people who can speak Spanish, Russian, Lao, Hmong and Vietnamese. The department said it strives to connect with different communities on many levels to build trust, solve problems and resolve conflicts like the standoff Tuesday.
In the past, the Sacramento Police Department hosted cultural academies for the city's Mien, Hmong and Slavic communities. The topics included gangs, code enforcement, community standards, communications and neighborhood problems.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org