FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Government of the District of Columbia
Executive Office of the Mayor
Office of Communications
Sharon Gang, (202) 727-5011
Vince Morris, (202) 727-5011
(Washington, DC) - Officials at Harvard University's Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation today announced that for reaching out to an underserved community and creating a model for community policing, the DC Metropolitan Police Department's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit has been awarded its prestigious "Innovations in American Government Award." This is the second time that a District program has received this $100,000 award - last year the District's SEED School was a prize winner.
Often called the "Oscars" of government, the Innovations in American Government Award is a program of the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and is administered in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government. Seven winning programs were selected from more than 1,000 applicants for the awards.
"I've said over and over that our city's problems cannot be solved by one person or one agency. It takes cooperation and partnerships. MPD's Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit is a model of collaboration and teamwork, and I couldn't be more proud of the work that they do," said Mayor Anthony A. Williams. "Other cities around the country will benefit from the groundbreaking efforts of the men and women who have established this exemplary model of community policing which serves to protect a traditionally marginalized community as well as the public at large."
The Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit regularly works with other police units to deal with crimes committed by and against the GLBT communities. GLBT and allied volunteers help establish the unit's priorities and functions and educate officers about the culture of the community and its needs.
"I am extremely proud of Sergeant Brett Parson and all of the police officers, Reserve officers and community volunteers who have been so instrumental in the growth and success of our Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit," said MPD Chief Charles H. Ramsey. "From its inception five years ago, the GLLU has demonstrated that effective community policing involves much more than community relations. By focusing on the three pillars of community policing -- focused law enforcement, neighborhood partnerships and systemic crime prevention -- the GLLU has helped to empower our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities and to make these communities safer."