One Nation MP Mark Latham has described NSW police’s proposal to train 315 officers as special LGBTQI officers for Sydney WorldPride as “disproportionate.”

The police officers would be Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers for next year’s Sydney WorldPride. Latham said they should instead be trained for “dealing with housing estate and elderly residents,”the  Daily Telegraph reported.

The ex-Labor MP also described the move as “identity politics in policing.” 

Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers At WorldPride

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According to the News Corp masthead, the NSW government sent “255 generalist officers to the special [LGBTQI] training to become Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers.” There is a “plan to train up to 100 more this year.” 

The officers will “engage positively and support members of the [LGBTQI] communities in NSW” and learn about the “history of the relationship between police and [LGBTQI] communities, challenges and sensitivities.” 

The training will also involve “[championing LGBTQI] inclusion at work and provide support to [LGBTQI] staff.” 

Police Minister Paul Toole told the newspaper it was, “important to ensure the numbers of appropriately trained liaison officers across a range of areas are proportionate to community demand and the policing challenges our officers face.” 

Latham claimed the numbers were “out of balance” and dedicating 12 officers for the elderly was “inadequate”

Far More Pressing Needs, Claims Latham

Mark Latham

“Three hundred and fifteen officers trained for LGBTIQ due for the Sydney World Pride next year, but only 12 for elderly and disabled people?” Latham said. 

“It’s almost 25 times more LGBTIQ officers than for the elderly and the disabled, then nothing for welfare recipients, public housing estates, remote and geographically remote people. It seems that the gay and lesbian community are afforded extra special attention.”

“I imagine domestic violence is a much bigger issue than public safety during the Sydney World Pride Festival next year. I find it extraordinary they need higher levels of policing, when other groups would have far more pressing needs and higher levels of disadvantage.”

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He added many LGBTQI communities were centred in the “inner city, not regional NSW”, and “featured high levels of employment and education, as well as strong political and media representation.”

Minister Toole said NSW Police “already had 108 domestic violence officers, 58 Aboriginal community officers, 26 multicultural officers and 11 aged crime prevention officers.” 

Police Officer Faces Action For Online Comments

Victoria Police at the Midsumma Pride march 2021. Photo: Mattia Abad.

This has come as The Age reported on Thursday that veteran Victoria police officer, Bruno Staffieri will be facing disciplinary action in March for online comments he made where he “allegedly [criticised] Victoria Police’s campaign to promote workplace equality for [LGBTQI] members.”

The Nine Entertainment newspaper reported Staffieri was “charged with a disciplinary breach in December last year” after being interviewed in September by detectives from the Professional Standards Command.

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He has been investigated over his alleged online comments as well as his “public criticism of the government’s decision to cancel Australia Day and Anzac Day celebrations last year, but allow the Midsumma Pride March in St Kilda to proceed.

The 62-year-old allegedly discouraged fellow police officers on August 27 last year from wearing purple clothing to show support for inclusivity.

He posted on his personal LinkedIn account: “I don’t think you speak for all of Victoria Police. I, for one, certainly don’t support this nor the groups that keep pushing their personal agendas. I can’t see why we continue to throw taxpayer money at this sort of un-Christian activity.” 

During the disciplinary proceedings, Staffieri will face “a range of possible sanctions, including dismissal, demotion, loss of renumeration or a reprimand.”

 

 

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