The Atlanta Police Department is launching its first LGBT Citizens Police Academy aimed at increasing trust and understanding with the LGBT community.
The academy will be held over two days on April 17 and 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program will be held at the Atlanta Police Training Academy at 180 Southside Industrial Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30354.
“I commend the Atlanta Police Department for prioritizing a culture of respect with Atlanta’s LGBTQ community,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in a press release. “Atlanta must remain a community where all people live their lives openly, feel safe, and be free of discrimination. The city needs LGBTQ voices in order to understand and address the challenges they face, while helping law enforcement make Atlanta one of the safest large cities in the nation.”
The specialized program will be facilitated by Atlanta Police Department’s LGBT Liaison Unit officers, Senior Police Officer Eric King and Officer Courtney Mack, according to the release.
“Atlanta has a rich and diverse LGBT community and we want members of that community to feel comfortable when communicating with police,” King said in the release. “We are starting this program to strengthen long lasting relationships and partnerships with individuals who can gain a better understanding of our department and become more empowered to help us improve public safety in their neighborhoods.”
The program will consist of information on core Citizens Police Academy topics including homicide, human trafficking, use of force and more. All of the topics will be accompanied by conversations on the challenges faced by the LGBT community and how to better partner with police, the release said.
All are welcome to apply to the LGBT Citizens Police Academy. Applicants must be at least 21 years of age, reside in the metropolitan Atlanta area, never had any felony convictions and no misdemeanor convictions within the past year. A standard background check is required upon submitting the application, according to the release.
To apply, email Atlanta Police Community Engagement Director Elizabeth Espy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-546-2541. The deadline to apply is April 10.
The Atlanta Police Community Oriented Policing Section offers multiple eight-week citizens police academies every year. Other specialized academies planned for 2018 include media, clergy and collegiate academy, the release said.