Police Diversity and Inclusion Liaison Officers Making Positive Impact
Columbus Division of Police
officers assigned to work with three minority communities are making a positive
impact on the residents they have been assigned to serve. In February
2015, City Council President Andrew J. Ginther announced the creation of
Diversity and Inclusion Liaison Officers who, in addition to their regularly
assigned duties, proactively establish and maintain relationships in the
African-American, New American and LGBTQ communities by utilizing existing
police and community resources to foster a greater sense of trust and
communication between the division and residents.
“The initial feedback from
the Division and the community is extremely positive,” said Council President
Ginther. “Our officers are engaging in community conversations on
new levels and are addressing concerns of our residents. Dialogue will
lead to trust and trust will lead to a safer Columbus. ”
Council President Ginther
joined Sergeants Nick Konves and James Fuqua as they visited Kaleidoscope Youth
Center, an Ohio State University area facility that creates a safe and
empowering environment for LGBTQ youth through advocacy, education, and support
services. While at the center meeting with staff, the officers learned
about the challenges Kaleidoscope youth face and how police can better protect
teens and young adults in Columbus neighborhoods.
“It is wonderful to have
police officers who are dedicated to building stronger relationships with the
LGBTQ community in Columbus,” said Amy Eldridge, Executive Director of
Kaleidoscope. “This type of one-on-one engagement leads to a greater sense of
trust and understanding between our organization, our clients, and the police.”
“This is very much a two
way street,” said Sgt. Nick Konves. “We are here to listen to the
specific concerns of the community and we are also here to educate residents
about police policies and procedures that officers follow when interacting with
For more information on
Diversity and Inclusion Officers contact 645-4446.
Please click here for
more information on Kaleidoscope Youth Center.
Council President Andrew J. Ginther (center) sits
between Columbus police Sgts. James Fuqua (left) and Nick Konves (right) as they
listen to a Kaleidoscope Youth Center staff member.
Columbus Urban League President Stephanie Hightower’s
Response to Council President Ginther’s news announcement at Kaleidoscope Youth
“The Columbus Urban League applauds
Council President Ginther and Columbus police for the creation of the diversity
and inclusion liaison officer initiative.
And while we also believe
there is a need to foster a greater sense of trust and communication between
police and Columbus residents, we must also remember that much of the
frustration we’ve seen nationally and some of our residents’ experience
locally, is the direct result of massive unemployment and a lack of opportunity
for African Americans and residents of the urban core. We cannot continue
to ignore what is fast becoming a permanent underclass of citizens who have no
hope, and no way out.
I look forward to working
with Council President Ginther and the Division on this and other innovative
steps to not only improve community relations, but provide greater opportunities
for all our citizens.”
President & CEO
The Columbus Urban League