The Russian American Officers Association (RAOA) is a fraternal organization of law enforcement officers. It was founded in 2003 by officers of the New York City Police Department. In 2003, there were much fewer Russian-Americans in the NYPD than there are now. The organization's founders decided that their bond of being from the same culture should become official. They hence established the Russian American Officers Association.
Membership in the Association is open to active and retired sworn law enforcement officers of the federal, state or local government or its subdivisions within the United States. Most of the members in the Association are Soviet-born and although the majority immigrated to the U.S. before their teenage years, nearly all speak Russian fluently. The Association is based in New York City; however, active law enforcement officers from as far as California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, Washington and Ohio also hold membership. While the majority of Association's members consists of officers from the NYPD, law enforcement officers from 32 other agencies are in the membership. The agencies include:
- New York City Police Department
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- Internal Revenue Service
- Homeland Security Investigations (ICE)
- Customs & Border Protection
- Kings County District Attorney's Office
- United States Secret Service
- Federal Air Marshal Service
- United States Park Police
- New York State Attorney General's Office
- New York State Division of Parole
- New York State Dep't of Taxation & Finance
- UN Security Service
- Nassau County Police Department
- Nassau County District Attorney's Office
- Las Vegas Police Department, NV
- United States Border Patrol
- Federal Reserve Police
- Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police
- United States Marshals Service
- Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority Police
- US Dep't of Health & Human Services, OIG
- Port Authority of NY & NJ Police
- Broward County Sheriff's Office, FL
- US Dep't of Housing & Urban Development, OIG
- New York City Sheriff's Office
- Lovelock Police Department, NV
- Ohio State Highway Patrol
- San Francisco District Attorney's Office
- San Francisco Police Department
- New Jersey State Police
- Pennsylvania State Police
- St. Paul Police Department, MN
- New York City Department of Corrections
Membership in the Association is reaching the benchmark of 350 law enforcement officers and supervisors from many of the leading law enforcement agencies in the United States. Some members have already served for more than 25 years in law enforcement and many are also current or former members of the U.S. military. The Association has general monthly membership meetings, usually held in Brooklyn, NY.
Various elected officials and community leaders have been guest speakers at Association events and many entrepreneurs, business leaders and community organizers have been instrumental to the Association's mission and growth.
In addition to serving as a collective voice of Russian-Americans in law enforcement, the Association holds events with various community organizations and functions as a conduit between the Russian-American community and law enforcement. Members of the Association also present crime prevention seminars and conduct programs on Russian television and radio to enhance the relationship between law enforcement and the Russian-American community at large - which historically has feared and distrusted the authorities.
The Russian American Officers Association is a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit organization.