Detroit police increase efforts to reach out to LGBT community

DETROIT (AP) — Law enforcement officials in Detroit are stepping up efforts to reach out to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender targets or victims of crime.

Last week’s “LGBT community chat” followed two recent attacks on transgender women, but authorities said it was scheduled before the attacks.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said police believe many crimes targeting LGBT people go unreported.

“People in the LGBT community often don’t report crimes because there traditionally has not been a strong relationship with police,” Craig said. “We want to change that.”

Craig said he planned to establish an LGBT advisory board that would meet monthly, The Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press and reported.

Shortly after arriving in Detroit in 2013, Craig appointed Officer Danielle Woods as LGBT liaison officer.

“We need information, and we know that the streets talk,” Craig said. “The only way we’re going to get information is if we have a strong relationship.”

Some said the fatal shooting this month near Palmer Park of a 20-year-old transgender woman the advocacy group Equality Michigan identified as Amber Monroe and the nonfatal shooting of a 30-year-old
transgender woman gave the meeting a sense of urgency.

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade promised to seek justice for gay or transgender victims of crime.

“We are committed to using the tools of our office to make a better life for everyone. That means everybody.”