Officers assigned to the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department’s LGBT Liaison Unit are no longer working the midnight shift, according to sources familiar with the unit.
At least one source familiar with the newly renamed LGBTLU said the midnight shift has often been the unit’s busiest time period because higher rates of violent crime and domestic violence occur during late-night hours.
Police spokesperson Lt. Sean Conboy said officers assigned to the GLBTLU “have not been working during the midnight hours for a few months.” But he said GLBTLU affiliate officers, who are based in police districts throughout the city, are available 24 hours a day to assist with GLBTLU calls.
“This change was made to ensure appropriate staffing on the evening shift where the call volume is heaviest,” he said.
For more than a year, members of the LGBTLU and other police liaison units have been assigned to unrelated patrol duties for half of their daily work shifts due to a shortage of officers on the force, police officials have said.
Last week, Police Chief Cathy Lanier announced in an internal message to all members of the force that she had changed the name of the unit from the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Liaison Unit (LGBTLU). The department issued a public statement announcing the name change on Jan. 11.