Virginia Police Academy Faces Backlash for Chinese Certificates


(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) A Virginia-based police academy came under fire following reports that its director signed the certificates of recent graduates in Chinese, leading to a backlash within lower ranks. 

NBC 4 reported on March 8 that the police chief of the Herndon Police Department is now calling for a reissue of the certificates. 

The internal conflict arose when Major Wilson Lee, the new director of the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy, used his Chinese name to endorse the certificates of a graduating class from the Herndon Police Department, which falls under Fairfax County’s jurisdiction.

Herndon Police Chief Maggie DeBoard criticized the Chinese signature in an email to Lee, according to NBC 4.

“I just found out that the academy graduation certificates were signed by you in some other language, not in English,” DeBoard slammed. “This is unacceptable for my agency.”

DeBoard’s demands for an English signature faced opposition from Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis, who reportedly accused her of “being racist.” In response, DeBoard defended her stance, as reported by NBC 4.

“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,” she told the outlet.

She added, “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.” 

In the face of the backlash, the Fairfax County police hailed Lee, who assumed leadership of the academy less than a year ago. 

“Our last several recruit classes are majority minority as we make historic strides to better reflect the community we serve,” the statement said.  

The Fairfax County added: “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.”