Police Chief C.J. Davis has named Officer Charles Strickland Jr. as the department’s first liaison with the LGBTQ community.
Strickland will serve as a resource for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community who are victims of crimes, including crimes motivated by prejudice, according to a city release.
“The Durham Police Department is a community-oriented policing organization, and we understand the need to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity,” Davis said in a statement. “Our new liaison will help us better serve the LGBTQ community.”
The LGBTQ liaison will collaborate with various police divisions, including Victim Services and Recruiting, to educate, assist and interact with residents, businesses and organizations about LGBTQ issues. The position will be based in the police department’s Community Services Division
The department is researching LGBTQ best practices that have been successful in other law enforcement agencies, including Atlanta, where Durham’s new chief previousl worked; New York; and Tampa. The department is also analyzing the Seattle Police Department’s SAFE PLACE Initiative, which was established in May 2015 to address issues including the perception of mistrust and lack of effective communication between the LGBTQ community and law enforcement.
Davis will introduce Strickland, a Durham police officer since August 2011, to the community during the N.C. Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday.
Strickland can be reached by phone at 919-560-4438, ext. 29477, or by email at Charles.Strickland@durhamnc.gov.