The Atlanta Police Department is seeking nominations for a nine-member LGBT advisory board, the department announced today. Nominations and those interested in serving must be made by Friday, July 16.

"As I begin to do important work with this position, it will be vital that I hear directly from our community on an ongoing basis," said the APD LGBT liaison Officer Patricia Powell in a statement.

Nominations are being sought from the local LGBT community as a way to create an ongoing dialogue and better improving relations and understanding, according to a press release.

Atlanta Police to form LGBT Advisory Board

The press release states Powell will “continue to attend events in the gay community and meet individually with its leaders and other members. The advisory board will provide a formal vehicle for regular communication.”

The board’s duties will involve advising the APD on matters specifically related to the gay community, the press release states, “with the ultimate goal of performing a partnership to reduce crime.”

Powell will also be seeking advise from board members on how to ensure APD officers are offering proper training to its officers when they interact with the LGBT community.

“The recent attack on a gay couple in Piedmont Park, which the department classified as a ‘bias crime,’ underscores the need for APD to develop a partnership with the community that ultimately results in protection of life and property for all,” the release states.

Rev. Josh Noblitt of Saint Mark United Methodist Church and his partner were attacked and robbed at gunpoint on July 2 in Piedmont Park. Six youths have been arrested and charged in the incident.

For those interested in serving on the board or making a nomination, contact Powell at or call her at 404-546-4752 by 5 p.m. on Friday, July 16.

Questions arose about the formation of an LGBT advisory board when Powell met with a group of LGBT community leaders and activists for a brunch shortly after she was appointed to the post in May.

Officer Dani Lee Harris, who is still classified as an LGBT liaison for the APD, is on medical leave. Harris has also filed a complaint against a civilian employee of the department with the APD’s Office of Professional Standards.