Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08



Chicago Police Department discusses new LGBTQ+ liaisons
by Andrew Davis

This article shared 1731 times since Wed Jul 14, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Recently, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) announced five LGBTQ+ liaisons for the Chicago Police Department. The liaisons include officers Phoebe Flores (Area 1), Matthew Schlagel (Area 3), Zaida Sanabia (Area 4), Megan Woods (Area 5) and Bernard Escamilla (team leader and citywide liaison); the Area 2 liaison will be announced at a later date.

Escamilla and Deputy Director of Community Policing Mike Milstein recently discussed the announcement as well as the liaisons' goals.

Windy City Times: Tell me about the program.

Mike Milstein: We at CPD wanted to expand what we do for underserved communities. We will have six liaisons—one for each of CPD's five patrol areas and one citywide liaison. The area liaisons will focus more on the hyperlocal level, reaching out to communities and helping them to [solve problems]. Bernard will be the team leader, making sure there's more of an impact for the LGBTQ community.

In addition, CPD has added three other community liaisons, including an immigrant outreach liaison, a homeless outreach liaison and a religious-minority officer liaison.

This is all an initial rollout. This is the largest [outreach] we've done regarding civil rights, so we might make adjustments or additions later after we see how it goes. But for now, we want to provide more resources for marginalized communities.

WCT: I remember when Officer Jose Rios [a member of the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame] was the LGBTQ+ liaison [for the 23rd District], although he was not the city's first.

MM: And we've had LGBTQ liaisons in the past, like Jose and other folks, who were appointed by their district commanders. This is the first time that the officers are officially appointed by the department.

WCT: There are other duties I'm wondering about. Will, for example, the liaisons be training other officers?

MM: Yes; they'll be providing resources to other LGBTQ officers but they'll also provide training for our members. We recently rolled out a new transaction with the transgender/intersex policy.

Bernard Escamilla: Part of my responsibilities as a citywide leader is to be involved in hate-crime investigation so we've been rolling out trainings and refresher courses [that focus on] hate-crime policies and sensitivity to the LGBTQ community. I have included LGBTQ-specific terminology, how to ask someone for their pronoun, demeanor and everything else from our transgender/gender non-conforming policies.

WCT: And where will you get information in the future? As I've learned, the information regarding the LGBTQ community is constantly changing.

BE: A lot of the info has come from community conversations where we meet with individuals who are interested in policy reports. [Note: The meetings are not open to the public yet, but Milstein said he hopes that changes soon.] We've been meeting with them to include terms such as intersex, which we've never had in our policy before. And we do have periods where we re-evaluate the policies on an ongoing basis.

WCT: Given the histories of the police and the LGBTQ+ community, how can you convince some people that there isn't a "blue wall of silence?" Some LGBTQ+ people might be cynical that any action will be taken, even if they complete a report.

BE: I think a big portion of that is accountability of the liaisons. I say that because we're appointed to these positions and we're given these responsibilities to build relationships. We're accountable for following up with cases and victims. In my experience, if we can prove to a victim or subject that we're accountable, it gives credibility. There's a ripple effect.

MM: To echo what Bernard said, this is about showing the community that we're dedicated to this—that we're committed to this. We have to show that we're taking things seriously.

WCT: I know the announcement just happened last month, but have you gotten any feedback from the LGBTQ+ community so far?

MM: We've gotten a lot of great feedback so far. People have called and asked their liaisons to come out and speak to their organizations or be part of their events. I think there is some excitement around it. So far, we're happy with the rollouts; people seem to be taking them positively.

BE: A lot of the feedback, as Michael said, has been positive. And we're getting a lot more inquiries. We've had a handful of cases in which people have reached out to our LGBTQ+ liaisons. It's good to know that some of these community organizations can reach out to us.

WCT: And the entire city is being covered, including the South and West sides, which have often been neglected.

BE: When Michael and I were having a discussion, one of the issues that came up was not making sure that one area was getting all the attention.

MM: We absolutely recognize that there are issues regarding the Boystown [Northalsted] and Andersonville communities versus the communities in East Garfield Park or Auburn-Gresham. We're all one community but there are varying challenges throughout the city, so it's important that we have liaisons within those specific populations.

WCT: Ultimately, what would you like to see the liaisons accomplish?

MM: My overall hope is that these liaisons help to build (or rebuild) a relationship between the CPD and the LGBTQ+ community. We recognize that the relationship has been strained for many decades, dating back to before Stonewall. We want to bridge that gap a little bit, and have a good relationship. We'd like the LGBTQ+ community to feel safe, especially the Black, Brown and trans communities. We want to provide as many resources as possible and help the LGBTQ+ community feel as safe as possible.

BE: It's about giving back to the community. It'd be great to change the culture within the police department. When we talk about LGBTQ+ people in Chicago, we sometimes forget that there are LGBTQ+ officers as well. I want to cultivate a more positive and accepting environment within the police department.

Overall, we're excited about the expansion and have six officers cover the city. It's a huge step for the department, and I hope it will benefit the city, in the long term.

This article shared 1731 times since Wed Jul 14, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

WORLD Namibia ruling, crimes, LGBTQ+ film festival, blogger sentenced 2022-01-23
- Namibia's High Court ruled against two same-sex couples fighting for recognition of their marriages, with Judge Hannelie Prinsloo saying she agreed with them but was bound by the nation's prohibition of same-sex relations, Reuters reported. Daniel ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Trans deaths, N.J. official, political items, 'Queer Eye' 2022-01-23
- The murders of two Black transgender women in the early days of the new year struck an ominous tone in the wake of two of the deadliest years on record for transgender Americans, Gay City News ...

Gay News

HRC condemns NCAA for failure to protect LGBTQ+ athletes 2022-01-21
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Late last night, the NCAA ratified ( its new constitution, which does not include nondiscrimination policy language that had ...

Gay News

Abortion Rights Panel marks 49th anniversary with demand to defend historic Roe v Wade 2022-01-21
-- From a press release - CHICAGO — To commemorate the 49th anniversary of Roe v Wade, a diverse national panel of speakers will demand that the U.S. Supreme Court uphold Roe, defending 50 years of legal abortion, and that supporters mobilize ...

Gay News

Former pope faulted in report on sexual abuse in German diocese 2022-01-20
- A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany's Munich diocese faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI's handling of four cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s, The Chicago Tribune reported. Westpfahl Spilker Wastl, the ...

Gay News

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action launches virtual Black Community Town Hall Series in February 2022-01-20
-- From a press release - CHICAGO - Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) proudly announces a new Black Community Town Hall series in honor of Black History Month. The series of virtual discussions will tackle topics such as community wellness and care, ...

Gay News

'Jane's Army' to recruit, deploy pro-choice volunteers 2022-01-20
-- From a press release - Chicago, IL — Personal PAC, Men4Choice, and Future Voices Council have launched Jane's Army — a joint campaign to recruit activist volunteers to educate, motivate, and activate pro-choice voters ahead of the critical 2022 election. This ...

Gay News

Human Rights Campaign Foundation releases new data on the LGBTQ+ wage gap 2022-01-19
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released ...

Gay News

Human Rights Campaign celebrates advances in LGBTQ+ policies one year into Biden-Harris administration 2022-01-19
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, DC — One day before the one year anniversary of the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) celebrates the advances that have been made in LGBTQ+ ...

Gay News

Chief Judge Evans responds to Mayor Lightfoot's request on electronic monitoring 2022-01-18
-- Press release from Office of the Chief Judge Cook County Circuit Court - Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans responded Jan. 19 to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's request for a moratorium on use of electronic monitoring for defendants accused of certain violent crimes by pointing out the national and state ...

Gay News

Texas' anti-trans youth sports law goes into effect 2022-01-18
- A new Texas law bars transgender student athletes from competing on school sports teams that align with their gender identity, Houston Public Media reported. House Bill 25 is one of several laws that went into effect ...

Gay News

Rabbi taken hostage in Texas LGBTQ-friendly synagogue expresses thanks 2022-01-17
- Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was among the four hostages freed Jan. 15 from a Dallas-area synagogue, said there was "no question" the experience was traumatic, and thanked the community and world for the prayers and love, ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Lambda Legal, Penn. city's change, couple on the run, Bayard Rustin 2022-01-16
- Lambda Legal filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Inc. on behalf of a former employee who was fired after they and other Dallas Arboretum ...

Gay News

National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund ED urges action on voting rights 2022-01-14
-- From a press release - "The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund urges the U.S. Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Voting rights are a cornerstone of our democratic process and ...

Gay News

Plaintiff in historic Florida marriage-equality lawsuit found dead 2022-01-14
- In Florida, Jorge Diaz-Johnston was recently found dead in a Jackson County landfill, ABC News reported. Diaz-Johnston, 54, was reported missing on Jan. 3 near his workplace and police are investigating his death as a homicide, ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.