Traverse City Police Department Takes LGBTQ Training From Detroit Police Officer

“I think everybody in this room will walk away learning something today and that’s the goal,” said Traverse City Police Department officer and LGBTQ Liaison Taylor Comiskey.

The Traverse City Police Department worked with Detroit Police to bridge a communication gap.

On Tuesday, Corporal Danielle Woods, with the Detroit Police Department, held sensitivity and awareness training to support the LGBTQ community.

“It’s to educate and we’re not in the business of changing hearts and minds,” said Officer Comiskey. “Everybody is entitled to their own feelings and opinions.”

As a public service officer, Comiskey says it’s her job to serve the entire community.

“If our social circles have never spanned to the LGBTQ community, we might not know how to properly address an individual and treat them with respect,” said Officer Comiskey. “We might be offending someone and not even know.”

Which is why a training like this, they say is so important.

“I think it’s imperative to understand all facets especially when you’re working in a public service, so that you can be more of a service to the people you’re serving,” said Corporal Woods.

LGBTQ culture and terminology, sensitivity training, discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity issues was what Corporal Woods, Detroit’s first LGBTQ Liaison, discussed to teach officers and get understanding and respect for this community.

“We all talk about things amongst ourselves but it does no one any good,” said Corporal Woods. “It’s a disservice to everyone if we don’t understand each other.”

“Having working relationships with those people is so important to making sure that we are creating a safe and comfortable environment for people to raise their families and live their lives and that’s the whole goal, I think, of public service and community policing,” said Officer Comiskey.

There will be another training Wednesday morning from 8 to noon at the governmental center.