It's hard for Liu Yuan to make it very far inside Plano's Asian World Market, on average she moves about five feet before stopping to talk to someone she knows.
"I love doing it," Yuan said.
Chinese born Yuan is a community liaison officer for the Plano Police Department. Yuan has two masters degrees, is fluent in Chinese and English and has had more careers in her lifetime than most can imagine.
She now serves Plano's Asian population by teaching safety seminars or translating between the public and police.
"I'm also a trained mediator," Yuan said.
Yuan is helping the Plano Police Department with one of the city's fastest growing communities. The Asian population is now the second largest demographic in Plano, making up 17 percent of the population.
Officer David Tilley with Plano PD says the department is focused on growing its number of Asian officers to keep up.
"We want a force that mirrors our community. That's important to us," Tilley said.
Right now 1 percent of Plano's officers are Asian. Tilley says recruiters have been networking with local and out of state colleges and universities with large Asian or minority populations looking for new recruits.
"Once we find someone we think is good we make a connection. We invite them to our department to show them what we do. A lot of people from different background may not historically consider this profession but we want to show them what we're all about," Tilley said.
Plano has been successful in diversifying with other demographics. The department says 7 percent of its officers are African American, the same ratio as the black population for the city.
"Well we've been very focused on that and just because we're there doesn't mean we're done looking for officers," Tilley said.
Both Tilley and Yuan say there are challenges in courting Asian officers. Yuan says culturally many Asian countries view police as corrupt. She says she is working to show Plano's Asian citizens that law enforcement is a good paying and honorable career.
"Many parents want their kids to be doctors or lawyers but I tell them this is a great and honorable job," Yuan said.
Tilley says he and the department will continue their efforts and will look at a new round of applicants in January. He says he hopes to grow the departments numbers but in the meantime he's happy to have Yuan on his team.