New LGBT Liaison Hopes to Improve Communication Between Community, APD
The Atlanta Police Department has named a new liaison to the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Officer Eric King joins SPO Brian Sharp in the two-person section.
King says the department first contacted him about a year-and-a-half-ago, but he wasn’t immediately interested.
“At that time, I was like ‘No, not really.’ But I kind of got involved from that point on," he says.
King says he wants to improve communications between different LGBT communities and APD. That ability to reach various groups, he says, is a skill he began working on in high school.
“I started with student council, got involved with activism in college, worked with Empowerment Detroit, did outreach -- so there was always some type of outreach in the community.”
King was a recruit in 2008, when police illegally raided an Atlanta gay bar, and detained patrons who were not suspected of a crime.
“People still have that in the back of their mind.”
Officer King says the department continues to move forward, and has instituted policies to ensure it doesn’t happen again. He replaces Sergeant Kristin Knight, who was promoted.