From Friends of Jack:
This evening I attended a community forum sponsored by GLOV – Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence – DC’s LGBT Anti-Violence Task Force. Chief of Police Cathy Lanier was on hand, along with Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) Sgt. Brett Parson.
It was a great back and forth and some important things came out of it.
1) The GLLU will still stay a centralized unit, but GLLU officers will be dispursed throughout all 7 police districts and will hopefully be on rotation so that eventually, an officer in each district on each shift will be fully trained and equipped to handle GLLU cases.
2) GLOV will meet with the chiefs of police of Metro Transit Police, the U.S. Park Police and other policing agencies who process reports to ensure that officers for those other agencies are fully trained on GLBT issues.
3) Sgt. Parson is going to work with GLOV and community members to develop comprehensive curriculum for the GLLU so that they understand the challenges “on the street” in DC, particularly if the new GLLU officers are not gay or lesbian.
There remain many challenges, of course. The relationship between the police and the transgendered community remains very strained. Also, the community forum was held in Ward 2, who’s residents understand gay issues as well as or better than any other Ward; it might be helpful to have more outreach and community meetings in Wards 6, 7 and 8 in the future. Hopefully this conversation will continue.