Hamilton police appoint liaison officer ‘to better serve’ the 2SLGBTQIA+ community

Rebecca Moran

Hamilton police have appointed Det. Cst. Rebecca Moran as the new 2SLGBTQIA+ liaison officer.

The role was introduced late last year in response to concerns about the police service’s treatment of those in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

Police say it’s an effort to rebuild trust between the community and the police force.

“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 about police process, particularly around how individuals can report to police,” said police in a news release.

Moran was a paramedic in Toronto before becoming a police officer and joining the Hamilton Police Service.

Police say she will provide a safe space for individuals to come forward to address concerns or report a crime.

“My hope is this new liaison position will start to build bridges between the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and our service. 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,” said Detective Constable Moran.

Hamilton police say Moran will also collaborate with various police divisions to educate, assist and interact with residents, businesses and organizations about issues facing the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and advise on training within the organization.

“Hamilton Police are committed to strengthening our relationship with the 2S and LGBTQIA+ community and taking the necessary steps in rebuilding trust. 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,” said Deputy Chief Ryan Diodati.

The relationship between the community and police has long been strained but concerns came to a head after violence broke out at last year’s Pride celebration between protestors and attendees. Many criticized the Hamilton Police Service’s response to the attacks at Gage Park and what transpired after.

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The events sparked a series of protests outside Hamilton City Hall by Pride supporters who felt there had been a constant stream of hurtful actions or inactions by Hamilton police and city council.

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In the months following the Pride event, the outrage was reignited when Hamilton Police Chief Eric Girt made comments on a radio show about sex in public washrooms while speaking about bridging the gaps between the LGBTQ community.

Girt later apologized for the comments and acknowledged they were offensive to the community. He said he was trying to illustrate a point about legislative change.

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Hamilton’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee is scheduled to speak at the Hamilton Police Service Board meeting at city hall at 1 p.m. Friday. The committee was denied its request to depute to its members during a regularly scheduled meeting last November – a move the committee says was “practically unprecedented.”

CHCH News will have a full wrap of what happens at the meeting on the Evening News at 6