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|New LGBT officer chosen for Atlanta police|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|April 26, 2012 14:48|
Officer Kristin Knight is replacing Patricia Powell as LGBT liaison for the Atlanta Police Department. Officer Brian Sharp also remains as an LGBT liaison.
“I’m looking forward to this wonderful and challenging opportunity to serve as a link between the LGBT community and the brave men and women of the Atlanta Police Department,” Knight said in a press release distributed by APD.
“As a proud member of both the gay community and the APD, I will take great pride and care in ensuring we continue our mutual respect and understanding," she said. "The LGBT liaisons are instrumental in helping foster those partnerships that are at the core of our mission here at APD.”
Knight joined APD in 2005 and most recently served in the community liaison unit in the Community Oriented Policing Section, covering Zone 5, which includes Midtown and Downtown. She previously served as a patrol officer in Zone 5.
“We’ve made great strides in strengthening our relationship with the LGBT community and I expect Officer Knight will keep up the great work already done by SPO Powell and Officer Sharp,” said Chief George Turner.
Senior Officer Patricia Powell, who has served as LGBT liaison officer for two years, will now join the department's Background & Recruitment Unit.
“SPO Powell took the job at a difficult time in APD’s history, and has served honorably and admirably,” said Deputy Chief Renee Propes. “The community has come to respect and trust her, and the department is better-trained and more aware of LGBT issues thanks to the work she and Officer Sharp have done."
Powell became LGBT liaison in the wake of the Atlanta Eagle raid, in which a federal judge ruled police officers violated the constitutional rights of the gay bar's patrons.
The liaison post was at the center of the controversy, as the previous liaison was not notified or involved in the raid, and did not learn of it until called by the press for comment.
Since that time, the APD has increased the LGBT liaison unit to two officers, created an LGBT citizen advisory board, and also implemented changes to the department required by the settlement in the Eagle case.
Top photo: Officer Kristin Knight (courtesy Atlanta Police Department)
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