NSW Police have made steps to show support to the LGBTQ+ community, such as Wear It Purple for LGBTQ+ youth. Photo: NSW Police Force/Facebook.
The inaugural gay and lesbian police conference in Broken Hill will have some of the state’s top-ranking officers in attendance, with the event aiming to encourage diversity and inclusivity within the force and the community.
The brainchild of Barrier Police District Superintendent Darren Brand, the conference will bring officers together from across NSW from places such as Bathurst, Moree, Dubbo and Sydney. Brand expressed his pride in the event to the ABC.
“I couldn’t be prouder, to be really frank. It’s really at the core of policing and community policing,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what community you’re a part of … your police are there to support you and treat you with respect.”
A Significant Shift In Relations With LGBTQ+ Community
For those who are a part of the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers (GLLO), the conference is a big step forward in maintaining the relationship with the LGBTQ+ community.
GLLO and Wiradjuri man Sergeant Nathan Towney believes that ensuring the community knows that LGBTQ+ members are no different from others.
“My big thing is starting the conversation, making people aware that there are people from [the] LGBTI world out there, that they’re not different,” he told ABC News.
“They’re the same as everyone else and that they are to be accepted as well.”
Support For A Diverse And An Inclusive Service
Having Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Cooke attending the conference is a sign that relationships between the police force and the LGBTQ+ community is growing, according to Sergeant Towney.
“I can definitely see a big shift with acceptance and moving forward,” he said.
“It makes me feel good to be a police officer, to be part of that LGBTI world and to be an Aboriginal person out here in the west and that we’re moving forward.”
The higher-ups in the NSW Police command were also in attendance and praised the event, voicing their support of an inclusive and diverse service, with Acting Assistant Commissioner Cooke saying that it highlighted “the value that we place upon engaging with our communities right across the state.”
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