CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Police Officer Anthony Johnson will be celebrating his 23rd year with the department in July — serving in a unique role that not all departments have.
What You Need To Know
- Cincinnati Police are working to build trust in the minority and immigrant communities
- Anthony Johnson serves as the Immigration Liaison, a position dedicated to building that bond
- Johnson checks in with community members and organizations regularly
- Johnson takes great pride in his role and aims to make a difference
“Really my role is to engage all of our immigrant and refugee community members,” Johnson said.
He serves as the Immigration Liaison for the Cincinnati Police Department — helping bridge trust between officers and minority groups so they feel they can reach out in their time of need.
“All of our immigrants, or refugees for that matter, know that not only me, myself, but our police department in support of them will help them out and try to prevent any crimes that occur,” Johnson said. “But then we’ll also enforce the law to protect everybody here.”
Johnson made a stop at a local Chinese restaurant called Tea ’N’ Bowl, who received prank calls — four in the past week.
Owner Yvonne Low is concerned it could be a trend, but is thankful to have police as a resource.
“I feel more secure in a way, because I know that someone is behind my back,” Low said. "And I can call somebody when things happen because I have the phone number.”
Johnson also works with local organizations like Santa Maria Community Services to assist with outreach efforts, like their upcoming health fair.
Wellness and Immigrant Outreach Director Luz Elena Schemmel said building the bond with the community is essential.
“For us, to share that it’s very important to report a crime and contact the police department, it’s fundamental to make sure everybody’s safe,” Schemmel said.
“In some countries you don’t talk to the police at all,” Johnson said. “Some officers are military and are run by the government. So there’s not really a local feel for what’s happening on their street or on their block.”
Johnson and CPD said they are working to keep everyone safe, but understand Asian-Americans are facing a surge of hate crimes nationwide.
“The trends are horrible as far as some of the places are the country, but prayerfully you know everybody knows that we’re not trying to do this here,” Johnson said.