LGBT Community and Police

Policing and Unique Workplace Cultures

Policing is based on cultures that are different from other workplace cultures and are unique to those cultures. All police organizations must adhere to these principles, which are consistently emphasized to their members and firmly defined by their beliefs and values. It is possible to characterize the society as hyper-masculine and heterosexual. (Cannon, Dirks-Linhorst, Cobb, Maatita, Beichner, & Ogle). Police officers are tasked with protecting and serving the entire public while upholding these principles. However, those who are HIV-positive and LGBT individuals frequently question if they are also responsible for fulfilling this obligation. The police have made these individuals a top priority. They have arrested and raid them in the places where they congregate and socialize (Cannon et al.). These locations include certain bars and parks, where police go and start performing unwanted searches. Some other officers have demonstrated hostility and prejudice based on perceived or actual sexual orientation, HIV status or gender identity. This research is conducted to demonstrate how LGBT communities face profiling, harassment, and discrimination at the hand of the law enforcement officers and further consider how the culture is perceived in the career and workplace experiences of the LGBT police officers, while also providing solutions for the same.

The Origins of the LGBT Pride Movement

The current LGBT pride crusade first began as a result of police mistreatments. During the late 1960s, it was prevalent for to police to attack gay institutions merely to terminate LGBT-friendly places. In 1969, at New York Stonewall Inn, the patrons were fed up by this police brutality. They formed an uprising which included everyone from trans women color to gay men (Couto). This is thoughtful of the experiences that the LGBT communities had with the police officers, and it portrays the since those eras, that the police are the enemy of the individuals.

Harassment and Discrimination in the LGBT Communities

Harassment and discrimination by the law enforcement based on gender identity and sexual orientation is an ongoing and pervasive problem in the LGBT communities. This discrimination hinders effective policing in these societies by breaking down trust and constraining communication (Couto). Moreover, it prevents officers from efficiently serving and protecting the communities they patrol. While a patchwork of local, federal and state laws are to provide some security of against certain form of discrimination. No countrywide federal statute is consistently and comprehensively prohibits perception based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Statistics from a wide range of sources shows that harassment is greatest for LGBT people, youths and transgender persons (Mallory, Hasenbush & Sears). The survey also included many aspects of interaction with the police, and this can be divided into two broad categories; misconduct and unsatisfactory response. Sometimes the offices themselves harass and assault people with HIV and the LGBT people. This is a serious form of misconduct as they are illegal and damaging. The victim\u2019s lives obviously destroyed by this transgression.

High Incidences of Harassment and Discrimination

A study conducted in America shows that 9.5 million of LGBT individual is a part of state or local communities. They form a section of a diverse community where law enforcement has to seek and develop a stronger community trust and support (Couto). However, many cases are being reported concerning the police officer hostile attitude towards them. Additionally, there is a lot of assault and harassment in the people who live in this society. The statistic shows that 14% of the victims who had conducted by the police have been verbally assaulted. Also, 3% of the individuals have been reported to be sexually harassed and physically assaulted.

Evidence of Harassment and Discrimination

Other evidence of harassment and discrimination has been reported in the media sources, academic journals, and court cases. They include immigration checks and physical searches. The research has indicated that the victims are asked by the police to prove their immigration status. If they refuse to accept an immediate search is conducted in their vehicles and pockets (Cannon et al.). These searches were most frequent in the black and Latinos LGBT victims or HIV-positive individuals of other races. Also, self-reported incidences of false accusation and false arrests are very high on LGBT people. This also has extended to the low-income earners, gender, and people who are suffering from HIV. They are mostly falsely accused of possessing illegal materials and illegal drugs so the police can have a reason to arrest them.

Inadequate Response to Harassment and Discrimination

When HIV-positive and LGBT individuals experience police misconduct, many files complaints about their adverse experiences, either with the police monitory board or the police officer will be nowhere to be seen. A study shows about 71% of the cases that are reported are never addressed. This statics increases if you\u2019re a low-income earner LGBT person (Mallory, Hasenbush & Sears). Moreover, there is an inadequate response to complaints of sexual harassment and physical assault from the police department. In addition, there is unsatisfactory police reaction when it comes to the issue of property rights on LGBT persons.

Challenges Faced by LGBT Police Officers

LGBT police officers continue to experience the influence of the traditional police culture as male, white, heterosexuals, in their policing workstations, dominate it. Regarding the recruitment of the LGBT officers which took place in 2013, as the part of London\u2019s annual pride celebration, there were massive changes within the Metropolitan Police Service because of dialogs (Mallory, Hasenbush & Sears). However, in countries such as Wales and England police officers are still forced to choose and declare their sexuality by ticking in a box, to indicate whether the officer is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual. As a result, it has made many people reluctant to come up due to the fear that this will affect their career prospects. The LGBT officer cannot negotiate their sexual identity as he or she is regarded to be emotionally weak. Furthermore, homosexuality is viewed as society disorders, and a police officer should dedicate his or her life eradicating it rather than supporting it.

The Impact on LGBT Police Officers' Career Advancement

This type of discrimination can significantly affect the satisfaction and career advancement of the LGBT police officers. Police cultures promote \u201cworking personality\u201d to the police officers. It is derived by three protuberant structures of police work which are; the exercise of authority, the pressure to produce, and the exposure to danger (Mallory, Hasenbush & Sears). A person who has been subjected to the hand of police abuse and harassment because of lesbianism, gays, or racial minority may find it difficult to comply with the pressure that is exerted from the police work. Research shows that unequal treatment of groups or individual based on gender identity or sexual orientation has root in dominant prejudices, negative beliefs, and heteronormative cultures about lesbians and gays. This heterosexism system has denigrated, denies, and stigmatizes any non-heterosexual identity, behavior, and relationship in the society. Therefore, the presence of LGBT officers in work face challenges termed as \u201ceasy, taken for granted homophobia.\u201d This has fostered a working place where non-heterosexual positioning is not recognized and where a hyper-masculine belief is embraced.

Resistance to Integration of LGBT Officers

The officers, who have been in the police force for more than 15 years, say that a greater presence of LGBT will indicate a shift from inclusivity culture to a workforce that is filled with homosexuality. They also added that there would be an increase of criminal activities in the bathhouses and bars where the LGBT communities meet to socialize. These indicate that these police officers are not willing to accept this community and work together in the police force.

Recommendations for Enhancing Relationships with LGBT Communities

The recommendation on how police departments will enhance their relationship with the LGBT and the HIV-positive individuals is by introducing nondiscrimination guidelines, policies, and resolution. The constitution states clearly that all people should be treated equally without regarding any of these characteristics, so police officers should be fair when they are handling these individuals so that they may increase compliance rate (Mallory, Hasenbush & Sears). Also, they should adopt amendments that prohibit discriminatory practices that are based on race, profiling, HIV status, sex, and sexual orientation of the individual. These practices unreasonably affect the low-income, different colors and diversity, LGBT, and gender non-conforming people.

Hiring and Promoting Qualified Leaders and Officers

Hire and promote all qualified leaders and police officers across all levels of the department who have interpersonal skills to get along with instructors, peers, and supervisors. This will demonstrate that the police force will have the ability to deal with any gender identity, ethnic background, sexual orientation, culture, and religion (Mallory, Hasenbush & Sears). Additionally, the department should institute early warnings to any police officer that engages in any abusive behaviors. This should be followed by punishment if there is any breach of conduct. The sentence can be in the form of reassignment or taking them back to training.

Establish Advisory Board for Communication and Associations

Moreover, an advisory board or designated personnel to be a liaison with the HIV-positive and LGBT communities whose assignment should include improving communication and associations with those groups. Also, an increase of departmental awareness, training, and knowledge is necessary for the officers to understand the LGBT-related issues (Knight & Wilson). Capturing and tracking complaints alleging racial and other profiling based with regards to LGBT individuals should be sensitized. Also, an investigation should be done, and any disciplinary action to be taken to any officer that has broken the law (Knight & Wilson). Also, the government can put employment strategies that can help improve the hiring and retaining of LGBT employees. Similarly, they should contribute to creating a more LGBT-friendly environment by prohibiting any discrimination or bias on gender identity, sexual orientation, and HIV-positive individuals.

Enforcement of Federal Ban on Profiling

Besides, enforcement of federal ban and bias-based profiling should also be done. In 2014, the US Department of Justice introduced provided new guidelines which it should be included profiling, and they recommended it to have a variety of characteristics rather than race (Dwyer). The bias profiling should apply to the federal department of justice law enforcement agencies such as drug enforcement administration and the FBI (Dwyer). The enforcement will reduce profiling and disproportionate harassment of LGBT communities by the national police agencies. Moreover, it will send the signal to local and state organizations that such reporting tactics are not acceptable in the society in general.


In conclusion, this study indicates that LGBT communities and individuals are still facing harassment, profiling, and discrimination at the hands of law administration. While many localities and states have put their non-discriminative laws, there is no explicit general and comprehensive rule and regulation that are put forward to protect the LGBT victims, gender identity and sexual orientation individual (Dwyer). Additionally, it confirms that LGBT police officers are still experiencing discrimination in the workplace. Also, it provides the policies and protection recommended to the police and the government, while ensuring that the LGBT individuals are safe from any harassment and discrimination. This will encourage greater community cooperation and engagement with law enforcement. It will also allow the police officer to perform their job efficiently.

Works cited

Cannon Kevin, Ann, Dirks-Linhorst, Denise Cobb, Florence Maatita, Dawn Beichner, Robbin Ogle. Lgbt Issues and Criminal Justice Education, 2014.

Couto, Joe L. Covered in Blue: Police Culture and Lgbt Police Officers in the Province of Ontario. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI/Proquest, 2014.

Dwyer, Angela. Pleasures, Perversities, and Partnerships: the Historical Emergence of Lgbt-Police Relationships, 2014.

Knight, Charlotte & Kath Wilson. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People (LGBT) and the Criminal Justice System. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016.

Mallory, Christy, Amira Hasenbush & Brad Sears. Discrimination and Harassment by Law Enforcement Officers in the Lgbt Community, 2015.

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