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When I was asked recently to take on the role of Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer at Collingwood Police Station I jumped at the chance.
I feel that it’s a vital role, given the large gay and lesbian community we have in the area.
For International Day Against Homophobia on May 1,7 Victoria Police invited organisations, businesses and the community as a whole to sign a declaration to demonstrate their commitment to work to achieve a homophobia-free community, and to display that declaration in an area easily visible to the general public.
When I approached my boss, Senior Sergeant O’Sullivan, to sign the declaration, he did not hesitate. He was so supportive he wrote a few paragraphs for me to read on his behalf on the Victoria Police GLLO Show on JOY 94.9. His words were so inspiring I wanted to include them here:
“We think most of the people in our community (whether they are homosexual or not) reject the idea of any sort of homophobic victimisation or other forms of prejudice or discrimination against gay and lesbian people.
“We do know that we have a significant number of ‘gay and lesbian’ venues and destinations here within the Collingwood Police response zone. We also know we have many gay and lesbian people living and working and visiting in Collingwood, Clifton Hill and Abbotsford every day.
“We also have a culture and work ethic at Collingwood Police Station that encourages everyone in the team to take pride in the level of professionalism, customer service and commitment we provide in our local community. Everyone is treated equally and this culture has helped us build mutual respect, trust and cooperation over many years between the staff of the unit and the local gay and lesbian community.
“Collingwood police are used to working with and for all of the … diverse people and groups in our local community. We are out there doing this without fear or favour, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
“We also know that we can’t achieve anything worthwhile unless we have our community working with us and supporting us.
We work together because we all want the same outcome — to help make Collingwood a safer place to be.”
info: Acting Sergeant Rachel Dunkinson is the GLLO at Collingwood Police Station.