Amid a backdrop of ongoing violence aimed at the LGBT community, the Mayor's Office of GLBT Affairs has announced a Public Safety Open House event for Wednesday, Sept. 28.
''It's something I've been talking about since I came on in spring,'' says Jeffrey Richardson, director of the GLBT affairs office. ''It just so happened we had this string of high-profile incidents, but it was definitely something on my radar. It's somewhat responsive, but it's also something we'd planned to happen. Given some of the perception of the disconnect, the goal is to really try to re-establish – or in some cases, establish – [relationships] with our first responders on the public-safety side.''
Richardson hopes members of the community will use the event as an opportunity to ''get information, and to put faces with names.''
To that end, Richardson has arranged for not only members of the Metropolitan Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit to attend the open house, but also for representatives from the D.C. Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services, and possibly the Office of Victim Services, to join them.
Aside from giving the community an opportunity to speak one-on-one with members of the various public-safety entities, Richardson says he'll also use the event to heavily promote the MPD email groups.
''We're going to be encouraging folks to sign up for the GLLU Listserv,'' he says. ''The Listservs really are a major tool for us in community policing. MPD monitors those Listservs. More than just signing up, we want people to utilize it.''
The Public Safety Open House is Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the Reeves Building, 2000 14th St. NW, Edna Frazier Cromwell Community Room. For more information, call the Office of GLBT Affairs at 202-727-9493 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about he GLLU, visit gllu.org.