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Atlanta police department to hold LGBT citizen academy

Written by gaytourism

2007 Pride Parade in Atlanta, Georgia

The police department in Atlanta, Georgia will hold its first LGBT Citizens Police Academy. The goal of the program is to improve relations between the police force and Atlanta’s LGBTI community.

About the program

The academy will be held over two days, beginning 17 April. It will be facilitated by the Atlanta police department’s LGBT Liaison Unit.

‘I commend the Atlanta Police Department for prioritizing a culture of respect with Atlanta’s LGBTQ community,’ Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement.

‘Atlanta must remain a community where all people live their lives openly, feel safe, and be free of discrimination. The city needs LGBTQ voices in order to understand and address the challenges they face, while helping law enforcement make Atlanta one of the safest large cities in the nation.’

‘Atlanta has a rich and diverse LGBT community and we want members of that community to feel comfortable when communicating with police,’ senior officer Eric King of the LGBT Liaison Unit said.

‘We are starting this program to strengthen long lasting relationships and partnerships with individuals who can gain a better understanding of our department and become more empowered to help us improve public safety in their neighborhoods.’

The program will include information about core Citizens Police Academy topics, such as homicide, human trafficking, use of force, and more. All topics will be accompanied by discussions on the specific challenges faced by the LGBTI community across the country, and how the police can work to be better allies.

Police-LGBTI tension

Police departments around the country have always had a fraught relationship with the LGBTI community. In Atlanta, specifically, an officer was filmed using racial and homophobic slurs directed at an activist back in January.

Be part of the LGBT Citizen Academy

Applications to the LGBT Citizen Academy are open to Atlanta residents 21 and over with no felony or misdemeanor convictions in the past year. Background checks will be required upon submitting applications.

To apply, email Atlanta Police Community Engagement Director Elizabeth Espy or call +1 (404)-546-2541. The deadline to apply is 10 April.

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