The Police Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officer (GLLO) program had effectively shut down, the vigil was told, because tackling homophobic violence wasn’t a priority, but Police have denied the claims.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore and ACON president Adrian Lovney called for the renewal of the GLLO program as a symbol of the government and police’s commitment to safety for the gay and lesbian community.

“The NSW Police used to be world leaders in training officers to deal with homophobia,” Moore said.

“The GLLO program was a leadership model, so why has the program been under review, why has there been so little training and why no GLLO appointed? Because it hasn’t been a priority.

“Not surprisingly, trust has broken down. It’s vital the State Government revives the GLLO program and commitment to action.”

Lovney joined the call for a full-time liaison officer at Surry Hills.

“The Police Minister David Campbell is taking the issue seriously, as is the new regional commander Catherine Burn, who we welcome in her new role this week,” Lovney said.

But he was concerned that not enough was being done to support the positive work with the community.

“Many police officers are reluctant to put their hand up to take on the voluntary GLLO role in addition to their duties, when they have little training and, worse, are ridiculed by other cops for wanting to play a part,” he said.

“Police headquarters have commissioned a report into the GLLO program and what needs to be done to fix it, especially here at Surry Hills. The police need to release that report and act on it.”

A police spokesman told SSO this week the program hadn’t been reviewed, but GLLOs were asked to complete a self-survey following the roundtable discussion of stakeholders in November last year.

“It was to get a complete picture of how they see themselves. Obviously their commanders might see it differently,” he said.

“We’ll be releasing a two-page summary of those findings during Mardi Gras. That will form the basis of how we will meet the demands and expectations of all the stake-holders beyond that.

“It is moving forward and the promise was that something would be released, that’s why we’re doing that during Mardi Gras.”

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