In March, Denver Police Sergeant Mike Vogler visited ACC’s Job Club to talk about a variety of topics and to help people feel comfortable when they interact with police. Mike loves working with the refugee and immigrant communities and wants all Denver residents to feel safe, and to understand their rights. And, did you know that only 2 public safety jobs, sworn police officers and firefighters, require citizenship?
Mike did a short presentation on pedestrian safety. This is crucial for ACC’s community members as traffic lights in other countries are often ignored. Next, everyone talked about the differences in police/citizen interactions in the US vs. their home countries. Mike said that cops know people are nervous when they get pulled over and that they may forget some of their English. He talked about the importance of asking for an interpreter if one is needed.
Lastly, participants asked a lot of questions about careers in police, fire and ambulance. Our SIVs (Special Immigrant Visa holders) were especially interested since many of them already have experience working with US forces. Mike encourages refugees to pursue jobs in emergency medicine or dispatch since their language skills are so valuable. Denver PD pays bilingual officers more as well.
One community member was uncomfortable due to bad experiences in his home country that he left the room at first. He gained the courage to come back, showing just how resilient our community members are. Everyone learned a lot and appreciated that Mike gave his time to ACC.