January 13, 2016 at 3:00 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Police LGBT liaison unit ends midnight shift
LGBT liaison unit, Cathy Lanier, MPD, Metropolitan Police Department, gay news, Washington Blade

Police Chief Cathy Lanier last week changed the name of the former GLLU; this week, the department ended midnight shift hours for the unit. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

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.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

  • A basic name change really gives us the added protection we need doesn’t it?

  • Phil Mendelson, Kenyan McDuffie and other so-called LGBT supporters on Council’s Public safety committee need to park their hypocrisy, wash the crime victims’ blood off their hands and restore the 500 cops they’ve effectively cut from MPD over the past decade.

    They also need to stop playing politics with peoples’ lives and public safety and pass Mayor Bowser’s (too modest) crime bill.

  • Time to fully fund the MPD and ensure that the LGBTQU is a fully functioning unit again. Taking it apart bit by bit is not what Mayor Bowser should be doing. The Council needs to review this and keep tabs on what is happening and provide the money the MPD needs.

    • No, Peter, it’s not just MPD’s LGBTLU (LGBT Liaison Unit) that needs restoring by Council. The ENTIRE police department has effectively been CUT 500 cops by attrition and the city’s top public safety leaders– now Bowser, Mendelson and McDuffie– ignoring the explosive growth of DC’s population.

      That is COUNCIL’s fault as much as it is that of successive mayors who failed to maintain and expand DC’s police force level with its population explosion (still increasing now @ nearly 2% per year).

      Just last year, the mayor and council effectively CUT 100 more cops from MPD’s force while they KNEW homicides were shooting up by more than 50% (ending up at a 55% increase). Armed robberies shot up all over the city, too. In the first few weeks of this year robberies jumped by 39% and ADW (assault with deadly weapons) have shot up 13%.

      Any politician who claims DC can not afford more cops is a liar. Restoring 500 cops would cost about *ONE HALF of 1% of DC’s city budget to accomplish, though it would take at least two years to do so.

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