Durham Police Department (DPD) Chief C.J. Davis has named Officer Charles Strickland Jr. as the department’s first liaison with the LGBTQ community in Durham.In his new role, Strickland will serve as a resource for members of the LGBTQ community who are victims of crimes, including crimes motivated by prejudice. While based in the Community Services Division, the LGBTQ liaison will collaborate with various DPD divisions, including Victim Services and Recruiting, to educate, assist and interact with residents, businesses and organizations about LGBTQ issues.“The Durham Police Department is a community-oriented policing organization and we understand the need to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity,” said DPD Chief C.J. Davis. “Our new liaison will help us better serve the LGBTQ community.”DPD is researching LGBTQ best practices that have been successful in other law enforcement agencies, including Atlanta, New York and Tampa. The department is also analyzing Seattle Police Department’s SAFE PLACE Initiative, which was established in May 2015 to address numerous community issues that have traditionally impacted law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve, including the perception of mistrust and lack of effective communication between the LGBTQ community and law enforcement. Chief Davis will officially introduce Strickland, a DPD officer since August 2011, to the community during the NC Pride Parade and Festival on Saturday.Public input is welcome as DPD and Officer Strickland work to build a strong collaboration with the LGBTQ community. Officer Strickland can be contacted by phone at 919-560-4438 extension 29477 or by email at Charles.Strickland@durhamnc.gov.