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Atlanta Police LGBT employee group collecting toys for Toy Party

Tis the season for giving and the Atlanta Police Department's LGBT employee alliance group is getting in the spirit by collecting toys for one of the gayest events of the the year — the annual Toy Party.

APD's LGBT liaisons Patricia Powell and Brian Sharp along with other gay employees, as well as straight allies, will be at Brushstrokes in Midtown at 1510 Piedmont Ave. on Nov. 27 and then at the Toys "R" Us at 1 Buckhead Loop Drive in Buckhead on Dec. 4, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at both locations. The Atlanta Police LGBT employee alliance group was formed this year shortly before Atlanta Pride.

They will be collecting unwrapped toys or gift cards worth $25 or more that will then be delivered to the AmericasMart on Dec. 4 for the 9th annual Toy Party and silent auction.

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Transgender woman robbed in possible Atlanta bias crime

A 16-year old male is under arrest after he allegedly beat a transgender woman and stole her purse in a March 12 incident that is being investigated as a possible bias crime by the Atlanta Police Department.

The victim, 22, whose home address is listed as being in Baltimore, Md., told police the suspect and friends with him shouted "faggot" and "Are you even a woman?" at her, according to the APD police report. 

The LGBT Unit, including Officers Patricia Powell and Brian Sharp, was notified of the incident immediately after it occurred and the APD's Homeland Security Unit is investigating the robbery as a possible bias crime, said Carlos Campos, spokesperson for the APD.

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Atlanta police undergo LGBT training

Atlanta Police Department LGBT Liaisons Officers Brian Sharp and Patricia Powell

For the first time in the history of the Atlanta Police Department, the nearly 2,000 officers and civilian employees are undergoing training on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as part of a mandatory course announced by Chief George Turner.

Turner and the entire command staff of approximately 30 people underwent the one-hour classroom training in December, taught by LGBT liaison Officer Brian Sharp. Now Sharp and Senior Patrol Officer Patricia Powell, the other LGBT liaison for the department, are teaching the class to everyone else employed by the department; the trainings will continue through May.

Recruits will also receive the training and the class will be taught once a year to all employees as a way for the department to garner better understanding and build a relationship with Atlanta’s LGBT residents.

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Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board announces next meeting

The Atlanta Police Department's LGBT Advisory Board will hold its next meeting Monday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. at Atlanta City Hall, 2nd Floor, City Council Committee Room 2.

Among the items to be discussed are updated changes to the APD's LGBT Diversity Training and the continued impact of the Atlanta Eagle raid settlement.

The Advisory Board's previous meeting saw members voice support of the Citizens Review Board's recommendation that officers involved in the Atlanta Eagle raid be suspended for three days without pay and receive Fourth Amendment training.

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Atlanta Police LGBT Advisory Board meets Monday

Atlanta Police Department LGBT liaison Officer Patricia Powell

The Atlanta Police Department LGBT Advisory Board will hold its next meeting on Jan. 10 at Atlanta City Hall’s City Council Committee Room 2 at 7 p.m.

Among the items on the agenda for the meeting include a review of the federal lawsuit settlement between the city and plaintiffs from the Atlanta Eagle stemming from the botched 2009 raid on the bar, an update on the status of the investigation into the shooting death of Black Gay Pride organizer Durand Robinson and an update on the status of DUI and road checks used in the city.

APD’s LGBT Liaison Officers Patricia Powell and Brian Sharp will address the board. Members of the Atlanta Citizen Review Board will also be on-hand to discuss how the ACRB and the LGBT Advisory Board can work together in the future.

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Former Atlanta police LGBT liaison back on job but in different role

Former Atlanta GLBT Liaison Officer Dani Lee Harris

Officer Dani Lee Harris returned to work at the Atlanta Police Department on Monday, but not in the position she would like.

The former LGBT liaison for the APD said she reported to duty in the ID division of the APD located on Donald Lee Howell Road and is now in charge of expunging records from computers after court cases are resolved and orders to do so are handed down.

“I’m glad to be at work, glad to be making a paycheck,” she said. She said the officers in her department welcomed her warmly.

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Atlanta GLBT Police Advisory Board set to meet Monday

Atlanta Police Department GLBT Advisory Board meeting

The Atlanta Police Department’s GLBT Advisory Board will meet for the second time on Monday, Oct. 18. The meeting, which is open to the public, starts at 7 p.m. at Atlanta City Hall (55 Trinity Avenue, SE, Downtown Atlanta) and will be held in the City Council Committee Room 2 on the second floor.

Among the items on the agenda is a formal introduction of Atlanta Police Officer Brian Sharp as the city’s second GLBT Liaison, a festival report from Atlanta Pride’s James Parker Sheffield and an update from the Task Force Committee.

Also scheduled to be at the meeting are APD’s Major Elder Dancey and Captain Barbara Cavender.

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Second LGBT liaison named to Atlanta Police Department

Officer Brian Sharp recently named Atlanta's second LGBT Liaison

Officer Brian Sharp, the new LGBT liaison for the Atlanta Police Department, was out in full force over Atlanta Pride weekend, visible in the park and walking in the Trans March with his partner.

He first official day on the job was Sept. 30 and his first official duty was lining up openly gay officers to march in the parade. He told Georgia Voice that he was looking forward to his new duties.

“One of the reasons I joined the APD is because it is a large department and is supportive of the GLBT community,” he said.

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Letter to the editor: We must welcome Officer Sharp

Dear GA Voice,

I am writing in response to the article “The Atlanta Police Department names new LGBT liaison” by Dyana Bagby. As an individual who identifies as a transgendered pansexual queer, I was so excited to hear that the Atlanta Police Department was going to bring on a second person in the GLBT Liaison position.

However, I was extremely disappointed and discouraged to see the coverage of the situation that GA Voice provided for our community.  The article on your website spent little time devoted to Officer Sharp and this encouraging step by the Atlanta Police Department.  The story that should have been reported was overshadowed with the drama of Officer Harris.

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Atlanta police launch LGBT advisory board

The new Atlanta Police GLBT Advisory Board

Questions about the controversial Atlanta Eagle raid, the status of former LGBT liaison Dani Lee Harris, the appointment of a new liaison, as well as how to rebuild trust between the LGBT community and the Atlanta Police Department were topics at the inaugural meeting of the Atlanta Police Department’s newly formed GLBT advisory board.

The nine-member board met Sept. 20 at Saint Mark United Methodist Church. Chief George Turner addressed the board briefly.

“We really do endeavor to do this better. To build our relationships, to be educated,” Turner said.{jcomments off}