KOREAN AMERICAN LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATION
KALEO is a nonprofit organization with a focus in fostering the promotion and cultural understanding of Korean American Law Enforcement personnel throughout the country and worldwide. Our mission is to make a positive impact in our community, its’ members and volunteers. We strive to strengthen our presence within the law enforcement community and grow as Korean American law enforcement officers.
KALEO’s vision is to promote leaders through training, support, and mentorship to ensure the next generation of Korean American Officers. Our endeavor is to create an environment of care and the promotion of healthy careers in the law enforcement community.
In 1913, Officer Lung Yep, of San Francisco, was sworn as the first Asian police officer in the USA. There’s no official record of the first Korean American law enforcement officer in the USA or California. Nevertheless, we found records of George Min, who joined LAPD, in 1965, and that’s the earliest known Korean American LEO in California. In 1993, Esther (Song) Kunz, became the first Korean American Female to join the LAPD. Fast forward to 2022, we estimate approximately 2000-2500 Korean American law enforcement officers, deputies, and agents in California alone.
In 2018, KALEO was formed with about 30 officers formally meeting in Koreatown to establish our organization. In the first year of operation, we grew our membership to 200, and we are currently at 350+ members.