Lt. Col. Rob Nader (left), Sgt. Jennifer Rudolph (right) [Photo: Facebook/Covington Police Department)
COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) -
Covington police are rolling out a new liaison program designed to help the LGBT community.
Covington Police Department's Sgt. Jennifer Rudolph and Lt. Colonel Rob Nader will serve as liaison officers to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, the Covington Police Department announced on Facebook.
"We want to be ahead of the curve. We think this is a need for the future,” said Lt. Nader. "Every neighborhood or community within our city has unique wants or needs when addressing quality of life issues."
According to the police department, the mission of the LGBT Liaison Officer is to build communication between the LGBT Community and the Covington Police Department through developing trust and understanding.
The Cincinnati Police Department already has an LGBT liaison program. Covington Police consulted them in crafting their program.
"We found in the city of Cincinnati that a lot of residents will go to the LGBT liaison with questions or with their experiences both positive and negative,” said Steve Newsome with the Human Rights Campaign.
According to last year’s Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, Covington scored a 57. The survey is a measure of the ways cities support, and fail to support, the LGBT community in cities nationwide.
To compare, the city of Cincinnati scored a perfect 100 last year.
"It's really a great step for the entire community. Anytime that you can have a police force working with their citizenry to improve relations - that's a great community," said Newsome.
The city already has liaison officers representing other factions of the city right now. The plan is to start educating on issues facing the LGBT community through some learning at Northern Kentucky University.
“We understand we have our own learning to do. We’re going to start a learning process at Northern Kentucky University, and work with the LGBTQ programs and services there,” Nader said. "We think it's a positive move in the right direction for the city.”