Local / Virginia

6 Hampton Roads police departments employ LGBT liaisons

FILE - In this June 17, 2016, file photo, people walk across a rainbow crosswalk painted in support of the LGBT community in the Gayborhood, a gay-friendly section of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations recommended Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, that bars and nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia's gay neighborhood undergo training for racial bias and hire more diverse staff, after a new city report found women, minorities and transgender people have felt unwelcome and unsafe in the Gayborhood for decades. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

FILE – In this June 17, 2016, file photo, people walk across a rainbow crosswalk painted in support of the LGBT community in the Gayborhood, a gay-friendly section of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations recommended Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, that bars and nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia’s gay neighborhood undergo training for racial bias and hire more diverse staff, after a new city report found women, minorities and transgender people have felt unwelcome and unsafe in the Gayborhood for decades. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Hampton Roads region now has six police departments with liaisons to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The Virginian-Pilot reports (http://bit.ly/2k9LT9R) Suffolk is one of the latest cities to join in. The liaisons who started there in January are detectives Tiffany Whitten, who is gay, and Sean Rowan, who is heterosexual. The city of Hampton recently created similar positions, as well.

The Suffolk detectives say it’s important to maintain a line of communication with the community, whose members might not always feel comfortable talking to police.

Hampton Roads Pride, a nonprofit that serves the LGBT community, approached Suffolk about having liaisons. The president of the group says police departments have been very receptive.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com

 

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