The Denver Police Department became the first agency in Colorado and third in the nation to receive an accreditation from Out to Protect for its LGBTQ liaison program, the advocacy organization recently announced.
The accreditation will last for three years and will require the agency to annually self-report on how it is upholding the standards set by the organization, founded to create awareness of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people working in law enforcement nationwide.
Denver police Lt. Michelle Folmar, who leads the department’s LGBTQ liaison program, completed the training academy to earn the accreditation for the department. The program is equivalent to 24 continuing education credits for law enforcement certification.
“We not only had to take the trainings but we had to implement policy, create and develop plans for officer training, make a commitment to community engagement and undergo a peer review process of these elements,” Denver police Officer Joshua Koen wrote in an email Monday.
The accreditation standards included community engagement and building trust, and establishing communications pathways to ensure the sustainability of the program.
“I congratulate Chief (Ron) Thomas, Lt. Folmar and the members of the Denver Police Department on their commitment to building a trustworthy relationship with the LGBTQ+ community in the city of Denver,” Out to Protect president and CEO Greg Miraglia said in the announcement.
The Denver Police Department joins the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida and the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety in California as the only three agencies in the country to receive the accreditation.
The department applied for the accreditation to show the city that it is committed to being a more robust community resource, Koen wrote.
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