Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey wants to make it safe for gay and lesbian officers to be out of the closet amid a macho culture that, he acknowledges, keeps most of them in hiding, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. “My goal is to create an environment where officers don’t feel intimidated in any way,” Ramsey said. “If they want to acknowledge [their sexuality], they should feel comfortable doing it.” Ramsey is considering launching a full-time unit dedicated to the lesbian, gay, bisexual. and transgender (LGBT) community.
Modeled on the pioneering, award-winning detachment he created in Washington in 2000, it would include two or three officers. Many say such a unit would improve the under-reporting of hate crimes and domestic disturbances by the city’s LGBT residents. “They don’t have faith that the police will do something,” Ramsey says. “We want to make sure they feel comfortable telling us about any issue that needs to be addressed.” He also is considering new liaison units for Asians and Hispanics.