June 22, 2016 at 5:40 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Montgomery County police meet with LGBT community
Montgomery County Police, gay news, Washington Blade

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger met with members of the LGBT community on June 21, 2016.

Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and the director of the county police unit that would respond to a mass shooting incident like the one in Orlando, Fla., told an LGBT community meeting Tuesday night that people should think in advance about how best to respond to such an incident.

Manger and four other police officials spoke about a possible terrorist incident and other topics at an LGBTQ Community Meeting at police headquarters in Gaithersburg that was organized by the department.

“We had the director of our Special Operations Division touch on Orlando a little bit and what Montgomery County’s response — God forbid if anything like that would happen — would be,” said Officer Rick Goodale, a department spokesperson who attended the meeting.

Goodale said Capt. Robert Bolesta, who is in charge of the department’s emergency SWAT team, briefed about 60 people who attended the meeting on the department’s contingency plans for responding to mass shootings. He also had advice for citizens thinking about how best to react to such a situation, Goodale said.

“He was talking about if you go out to certain places you have to have a different mindset in today’s world about being aware of things, like where are my exits,” Goodale recounted Bolesta as saying.

“One thing he talked about was the Virginia Tech shooting,” Goodale said. “The shooter went into one of the rooms, shot the victims and left. And the victims didn’t barricade the door after he left,” Goodale reported Bolesta as saying.

“And the suspect came back and shot more victims and killed them. He went to another room where those particular victims barricaded the door so he wasn’t able to get back in. Those people all survived,” Goodale quoted Bolesta as saying.

Other topics discussed at the meeting included the department’s policy for investigating hate crimes and the department’s diversity and community outreach programs, Goodale told the Washington Blade. He said one or more follow-up meetings with the LGBT community were being planned.

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

1 Comment
  • Better late than never. Kudos to Chief Manger! Developing a community policing partnership with local LGBTs is an important force multiplier for the Montgomery County PD.

    After Orlando, LGBT gatherings are more than just hate crimes opportunities for anti-LGBT bigots. LGBT gathering spots have to be viewed by law enforcement as among the soft targets in terror/crime threat assessments.

    Quite some years ago, now DC Police Chief Lanier wrote this…

    “While terrorists may target large urban areas, they typically mobilize, plan, secure resources and deploy from out of the way rural locations. This fact reinforces our need to expand our detection capabilities by ensuring that every police officer in the United States fully understands their role and is engaged in our national efforts to prevent future attacks. Without the support of these officers, who work in our communities every day interacting with hundreds of thousands of motorists, tourist, victims and criminals we are not putting our best efforts forth. The value added by using these additional “eyes and ears” as a force multiplier far surpass any effort that could be accomplished by the 11,800 Federal Law Enforcement agents around the country when it comes to detecting terrorist activity before an attack occurs.”

    Cathy L. Lanier,
    September 2005
    Preventing Terror Attacks in the Homeland:
    A New Mission for State and Local Police

    Chief Lanier’s words seem almost prescient today.

    If you see something, say something! Encourage your friends to do likewise.


    DC’s MPD…

    (And please, never denigrate or mock anyone for reporting suspicious hate crimes, harassment or hate speech– especially by government and/or private personnel.)
    “He was talking about if you go out to certain places you have to have a different mindset in today’s world about being aware of things, like where are my exists,” Goodale recounted Bolesta as saying.**

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