For the first time in its history the Metro Police Department has a full-time liaison to Nashville’s LGBTQ community.
Officer Catie Poole has been part of Nashville’s law enforcement community for more than five years and now she’s combining it with another community she’s a part of.
“We have a large LGBTQ community here,” Poole said. “I’m part of the community. I am a lesbian.”
Chief Steve Anderson announced the appointment of Poole’s new position, full-time liaison for the LGBTQ community today.
“My hope is that I can encourage people and make them more confident to report crimes that are committed against them just because they’re gay,” Poole said.
Poole will also be working with businesses to create a Safe Place Program, which was started by the Seattle Police Department, where a hate crime victim can safely wait in a marked Safe Place business until a police officer responds.
Executive Director of the Tennessee Equality Project, Chris Sanders says this is a big step in the right direction.
"Tennessee is consistently one of the top states for anti-LGBTQ legislation,” Sanders said. “It's important to have officers who understand our community. It's not just hate crimes, it's how do you deal with domestic violence in the LGBTQ community."
Poole will also attend community meetings and be an advocate for the police department’s LGBTQ members.
Citizens wanting to contact Officer Poole with an invitation to a community meeting, a question or a concern can call her office, 615-862-7822, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.