Phan S. Ngo: You Just Got Promoted And Made A Little History Too

Monday, February 01, 2010

Whether or not being Viet did in fact contribute to Ngo's appointment as one of four new Deputy Chiefs - who's really going to deny that this wasn't a good move anyway?

The appointment of Capt. Phan S. Ngo, who as a child was airlifted out of Saigon during the last days of the Vietnam War, is historic. He is not only the first Vietnamese American to serve as a deputy chief in San Jose, but he is believed to be the highest-ranking Vietnamese-American officer on any major U.S. police department.

His selection also comes at a time when some in San Jose's sizable Vietnamese population distrust the police because of two cases — the police shooting of a mentally-ill Daniel Pham in the backyard of his home, and the violent, videotaped arrest of San Jose State University student Phuong Ho. Ngo also becomes the only nonwhite member of Davis' top command staff, filling a job that has been open for months.