Hamilton Police announced Friday (Feb. 14) that they have appointed their first 2S and LGBTQIA+ Liaison officer to liaise with Hamilton’s 2S and LGBTQIA+ community.
Detective Constable Rebecca Moran is an out member of the 2S and LGBTQIA+ community.
She will act as a conduit to address community concerns, as well as initiate outreach to provide information on police process, particularly around how individuals can report to police, a Hamilton Police press release says.
Moran will also provide a safe space for individuals to come forward to address concerns or report crime.
“Hamilton Police are committed to strengthening our relationship with the 2S and LGBTQIA+ community and taking the necessary steps in rebuilding trust,” said Deputy Chief Ryan Diodati. “Working in collaboration with the Community Relations Coordinator, we believe our new liaison officer will help us better serve Hamilton’s 2S and LGBTQIA+ citizens.”
Hamilton Police introduced the position at a community meeting with the 2S and LGBTQIA+ community in late 2019 in response to community concerns. Moran has begun meeting with community members to introduce this new role.
“My hope is this new liaison position will start to build bridges between the 2S and LGBTQIA+ community and our service,” said Moran. “Knowing there is someone in the service they can reach out to that understands their lived experience, could help victims of crime feel more comfortable coming forward to police.”
Relations between the Hamilton Police Services and members of the 2S and LGBTQIA+ community in Hamilton have been drastically strained since a Pride 2019 event in Gage Park in August erupted in violence. Hamilton Police have come under fire for their handling of the case and the subsequent fallout.
The announcement comes the day that the City of Hamilton LGBTQ Advisory Committee (LGBTQAC) is scheduled to delegate at the Police Services Board (HPSB) meeting after months of trying unsuccessfully to send a delegation to the HPSB to address concerns relating to the board’s process of appointing members.
The concern is that the board does not reflect the diversity of the city and therefore doesn’t reflect the needs of marginalized communities.
The LGBTQ2AC is hoping that the board will reconsider their recent citizen appointee and engage in a selection process that is informed by voices from marginalized communities.
“You have the right to ask City Council to reevaluate the appointment processes that have been used to select the sole citizen appointee to this Board,” an LGBTQ2AC letter to the HPSB says.
“You have a right to say that the process didn’t meet the standards of community engagement that are expected by Hamiltonians.”
In December, the Board voted to hear from the LGBTQAC after months of telling the delegation that their deputation was not ‘relevant’.
The HPSB meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday.
In the meantime, Hamilton Police say that the 2S and LGBTQIA+ liaison will work in collaboration with various police divisions within the service to educate, assist and interact with residents, businesses and organizations about issues facing the 2S and LGBTQIA+ community and advise on training within the organization.