Mayor Bill de Blasio issued an executive order on September 15 enshrining the NYPD’s LGBTQ liaison as a permanent position and shifting its oversight from the chief of department to the commissioner.
The news comes after Sergeant Ana Arboleda, a lesbian Latina woman, stepped into the NYPD’s LGBTQ liaison role following the retirement of Carl Locke, who served in the department for two decades. Arboleda will oversee LGBTQ outreach within the NYPD’s Community Affairs Bureau, provide LGBTQ-inclusive training for officers, manage internal LGBTQ issues, and support the NYPD’s LGBTQ Advisory Panel, according to the mayor’s office.
Sergeant Arboleda said she looks forward to addressing disparities impacting the LGBTQ community.
“I am proud to be able to serve the community I am part of as the NYPD’s LGBTQIA+ Liaison,” Sergeant Arboleda said in a written statement. “It is a true privilege to help the NYPD continue making strides forward for LGBTQIA+ employees and the community we work to protect every day. I am grateful to the leadership of the NYPD for this opportunity and to GOAL — who is comprised of my friends, colleagues, and people who have become my family.”
Arboleda will also review and recommend policy changes to the Office of Management Analysis and Planning, a division that monitors the department’s crime reporting system.
Detective Brian Downey, president of the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), believes the order will help the LGBTQ community bring their concerns to the NYPD.
“The executive order is incredible progress toward the right kind of LGBTQIA+ representation in the NYPD, both for the community to have its voice heard at the highest levels and for all LGBTQIA+ members of the department,” Downey said in a written statement. “We thank the mayor for enshrining this role in the NYPD, and we will continue to advocate for LGBTQIA+ equity in all aspects of the NYPD’s work.”
For years, the NYPD has faced growing criticism for aggressively handling demonstrations and events within the LGBTQ community. In April, the NYPD came under fire for violently arresting and roughing up protesters at the weekly Stonewall Protests, and last year the Reclaim Pride Coalition’s Queer Liberation March erupted into chaos as NYPD officers allegedly pepper-sprayed protesters at the end of the march. During Pride Month, Reclaim Pride organizers blasted the NYPD again for arresting demonstrators following this year’s annual march.
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