Conference Spotlight: Open Forum: Addressing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LBGT) Issues in Your Community and Your Department: The Role of the Law Enforcement Executive

By Chrystal Tibbs, Lt., Prince George County Police Department and IACP Fellow

Building trust between a police department and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities is both essential and challenging. The LGBT community is often distrustful of the police due to real or perceived police bias as officers respond to and investigate crimes against individuals from this community. Building successful bridges to the LGBT community is an important step to strengthen your department’s relationship to all citizens- an example of inclusive policing- thus offering reassurance to victims of gender bias and crime. Police executives should ensure that their officers are trained properly on how to communicate with and respond effectively to citizens of the LGBT community. Law enforcement executives often have LGBT police officers and/or civilian employees within their respective police agencies. Even though federal law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation, LGBT officers may still experience perceived or real differential treatment from their fellow officers and supervisors, resulting in the need to address LGBT concerns directly.

This and other issues will be addressed at IACP 2012 in San Diego. Join the IACP on Tuesday, October 2nd from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in room 22 of the San Diego Convention Center for a facilitated roundtable discussion to explore the issues surrounding the public safety needs of LGBT community members and police agency personnel.  This event will be moderated by Chief Scott Silverii of the Thibodaux, Louisiana Police Department. The discussion is co-hosted by Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and we’ll be joined by PFLAG Executive Director, Jody Huckaby.

To register for the conference, please visit www.theiacpconference.org.

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