28 June 2007

An Update from the Chief

Some of you may have heard about the fracas over Chief Cathy Lanier's decision to decentralize the District's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit that sort of dusted up earlier in the month. Well, a friend of mine forwarded to me the following e-mail which should shed a bit more light onto this story.
The following is a clarification on the role of the GLLU and its future from Chief Lanier:

Dear GLBT Community:

In the past few weeks, there has been a great deal of confusion regarding my vision for the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit. I apologize to the GLBT community for the miscommunication regarding my plan to expand the reach of the GLLU. As Chief of Police, I take full responsibility for the Department failing the GLBT community by not getting the message out in the right way and with the right input from all of you, and for that I apologize.

It has never been my intention to disband the award-winning unit, and in fact I have set a goal for my Department to train every Metropolitan Police Officer to respond to calls from the GLBT community and to encourage more officers to join GLLU.

The GLUU is critical to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and to the GLBT community. The services provided by the dedicated officers who make up the unit are invaluable, and I am fully committed to ensuring the GLUU continues to provide the same services to every GLBT resident who needs them. The reach of GLUU must extend into every neighborhood and into every ward because the GLBT community contributes to our diverse population of residents — and those residents are not limited to only one geographic area of the District.

Over the next few weeks, Sergeant Brett Parson, along with Lieutenant Alberto Jova, will schedule group meetings in all seven districts to solicit your input about the GLUU and how it can be improved.

For those who are unable to attend the meetings, the MPD has created an e-mail address enabling members of the community to provide suggestions and/or concerns regarding the GLUU. The address is mpdc.liaisonunits@dc.gov.

The information gleaned from these meetings will be incorporated into a final plan for enhancements to the GLLU. A representative from each of the meetings will be asked to meet with the Chief so that she may inform them of the\ plan for each of the units. Rest assured that I am committed to hearing the views of the GLBT community before finalizing any plans to enhance the GLLU. With your input, I believe that we can come up with a plan that will not only broaden the reach of the GLLU, but improve the services this unique unit provides.

Cathy L. Lanier
Chief of Police
Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department

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