Hampton Roads Pride will facilitate a panel and Town Hall discussion for the LGBT and allied communities, moderated by Barbara Hamm Lee, host of WHRV-FM’s Another View. The discussion will feature community leaders and representatives from regional law enforcement agencies in Hampton Roads, including the FBI.
The relationship between the LGBT community and law enforcement is rapidly evolving in response to changing laws, policies, and social perceptions about people who identify as LGBT. Hampton Roads Pride and regional law enforcement agencies are taking pro-active steps to enhance our relationship and to establish a meaningful, ongoing dialogue so that we may better serve our community. The LGBT and allied communities and police agencies will benefit by proactively engaging through the creation of liaison positions and support networks.
Panelists will include:
Chief Larry Boone, Norfolk Police Department
Sergeant Shelly Meister, LGBT Liaison Officer, Virginia Beach Police Department
Vega Olivia Perry, Community Organizer
James Parrish, Executive Director, Equality Virginia
Ted Roese, Supervisory Senior Resident Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Town Hall Objectives:
- Improved understanding of the LGBT community and common issues faced LGBT individuals. Through improved understanding, the community and public safety employees will be better prepared to deal with issues involving LGBT individuals.
- Build trust and address perception and misconceptions about law enforcement and public safety within the community.
- Provide awareness of perceptions and misconceptions about the LGBT community.
- Provides information, tools and techniques to help ensure that law enforcement interactions with members of the LGBT community are respectful, professional and safe for all involved.
- Assist agencies to improve their workplace support of LGBT employees.
“Hampton Roads Pride is encouraged by law enforcement community’s affirmative response to the changing social and political landscape for LGBT individuals,”said Hampton Roads Pride president Michael Berlucchi.
“We are especially grateful to those agencies that have created LGBT Liaison Officer positions at their agencies. We look forward to welcoming the community to this free Town Hall conversation and reception, the first of its kind in our region, where we intend to unite citizens and law enforcement professionals to help establish and enhance vital bridges of trust and understanding. This is an incredible opportunity; we are committed to working together to do our part to ensure that everyone in our community is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. I believe that Hampton Roads will become safer and more equitable place to live and work as a result of these dialogues.”
For more or to invite your friends, here is the event on Facebook.