Congratulations to Community Service Officer Ku Tha Tee, recipient of the first Roseville Police Foundation scholarship. Tee received a $5,000 scholarship to help pay for the state-mandated skills training program.
All police candidates must complete the training program to become a licensed police officer in Minnesota.
Delivering public safety services is a complex task, and a peace officer’s ability to provide service responsive to the public’s needs depends upon knowledge, skills and experience. Often there are barriers for underrepresented communities to gain these skills. The Roseville Police Foundation scholarship helps bridge those barriers in an effort to help the Roseville Police Department’s commitment to diversity its workforce to represent better the community it serves.
The Roseville Police Foundation scholarship pays for the pre-employment education that all peace officer candidates in Minnesota must complete. The scholarship allowed Tee to attend skills training this summer in Alexandria as he works toward his goal of employment as a Minnesota peace officer by winter 2017, hopefully with the Roseville Police Department.
Tee was born in Burma (now known as Myanmar) to a family of nine. When he was six years old, his family fled to a Thailand refugee camp to escape persecution because of the civil war. They lived in the camp for nine years. In September 2006, Tee and his family left the camp and settled as refugees in Maplewood.
Learning English at the age of 15 was difficult, but by focusing on that and American culture, Tee soon became an interpreter, helping his community and his family. He graduated from Roseville Area High School in 2011. Tee’s passion is to help people, which is why he is pursuing a degree in law enforcement.
Currently he is enrolled at Century College and is employed as a Cadet with the Roseville Police Department. This position helps bridge the gap between police departments and new immigrant communities. Tee is the department’s only native Karen speaker. The department has relied on his language and cultural knowledge to communicate and assist in criminal investigations, community events, and educational sessions within the Karen community.
Chief Rick Mathwig said “Ku is a great asset to the City of Roseville and is a wonderful, caring person who continually looks to help people whenever he can. Ku was formerly employed as a cultural liaison with Roseville Area Schools and we continue to hear how much they miss him; I’m not surprised.”
The Roseville Police Foundation’s mission is to advance public safety by supporting and providing resources to strengthen the Roseville Police Department. This will be achieved by enhancing Roseville Police Department’s capacity to provide quality services through outreach initiatives and the pursuit of innovative training and the acquisition of supplemental equipment and technology. More information is available at www.rosevillepolicefoundation.org.