MPD Expands LGBT Outreach

By Rebecca Sheir and WAMU 88.5 News
|  Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 AM EDT
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MPD Expands LGBT Outreach

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The Metropolitan Police Department plans to increase outreach to D.C.'s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Assistant Chief Diane Groomes said expanding MPD's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, or GLLU, was a no-brainer.

"The community demanded it," she said.

Groomes met with members of that community last night. She explained Police Chief Cathy Lanier "wanted to push GLLU expansion, so we put out to our patrol officers: who would like to get trained on how do you handle hate and bias? Transgender issues?"

MPD is offering classes on all its special units later this month. Groomes said 23 of the 57 participants want to specialize in LGBT outreach.

Two full-time officers do that job now. That bothers Sampson McCormick of the Metropolitan Network Against Homophobia. He and two friends were attacked one night in March. He said when police arrived, "they treated us like we were the criminals. We asked for the GLLU to come over there and they told us they didn't know about it."

Diane Groomes hopes this month's training will solve that problem. She said "more exposure to more things builds a better community officer."

And, she hopes, a better community, too.

Listen to the complete story at wamu.org

Copyright 2009 WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio. All Rights Reserved.

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