QPS officers march in uniform for the first time at Brisbane Pride Festival

Uniformed Queensland Police officers will march in the Brisbane Pride Festival for the first time on Saturday, September 19 2015.

Long time LGBTI liaison officer Senior Sergeant Gai Bolderrow said as LGBTI liaison officers, they aim to encourage safe and inclusive communities and marching in the festival is one way of demonstrating this commitment.

“The Brisbane Pride Festival is a big celebration. We are very excited to be involved and absolutely thrilled to be marching, particularly in uniform,” Senior Sergeant Bolderrow said.

“Marching at this event is two-pronged for the QPS. It shows our support for community members who identify with the LGBTI community. It also shows the QPS’ support for QPS officers and staff members who identify as LGBTI themselves.

“It shows that the QPS provides assistance to all areas of the community, impartially, independently and unaligned.

“Our LGBTI liaison officers are a very committed group. Many have been instrumental in improving services, support and access to police for LGBTI persons.

“Each officer is very dedicated to their role in building relationships and providing police services to the LGBTI community.

“Officers from all over the state are coming to march. We’ve been very busy spreading the word.

“We also have a number of non-LGBTI QPS members marching who are taking the opportunity to show support for their colleagues and for diversity.

“There is a high level of excitement and buzz amongst the service. This event means a lot to us.

“We wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Commissioner of Police Ian Stewart said he welcomed the request he received by some officers who wanted to march in the Brisbane Pride Festival Parade, wearing official police uniform.

“We have a very diverse police community – we embrace and value that diversity,” Commissioner Stewart said.

“It is very important to support any QPS officers who wishes to participate. This also strengthens the relationship between the QPS and the LGBTI community.”

The LGBTI liaison program began in 1997 to establish and maintain effective liaison between police and LGBTI communities. The program aims to develop appropriate policies and strategies to ensure equitable service across the state. As at June 2015, there were 100 LGBTI liaison officers across the state.

Author: Garry Burns

Gary Burns is an Australian anti-discrimination campaigner. He successfully tested the homosexual vilification provisions of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 with a complaint of personal homosexual vilification against broadcaster John Laws and Sydney radio station 2UE that concluded in his favour in 2002.[1] Burns went on to front public interest cases against high profile figures and media establishments for unlawful homosexual vilification.

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