The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is awarding the city of Allentown a nearly $35,000 grant under the 2016 Community Policing Development (CPD) program. The funds will be used to develop a national model with Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown to train police officers on building trust with the LGBT community.
The unique partnership between the Allentown Police Department and Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center builds on the expertise of the Allentown Police Department in police training and the expertise of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in training for LGBT inclusion within organizations. Together, they will develop a national model for training which will be available as a video, lesson plan and slide presentation. The curriculum will be drafted and then piloted at police departments of all sizes. Once finalized, the curriculum will be made available for distribution to various national resources such as Centerlink: The Community of LGBT Centers as well as the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
“The Allentown Police Department is excited about the opportunity to partner with the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center on this significant endeavor,” said Chief Keith Morris. “Not only will we be able to solidify trust and relations with our LGBT community here in Allentown, but have the unique opportunity to put forth a national training model. Being awarded this grant is a testament to the hard-work of our grants coordinator Sgt. James Gress and Adrian Shanker, the Executive Director of the center, and exemplifies our commitment to our LGBT community.”
“We are grateful to the Department of Justice for prioritizing the need for stronger LGBT-police community relations,” said Adrian Shanker, Executive Director of Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. “We are honored for the opportunity to partner with the Allentown Police Department to develop this national model.”
Mayor Ed Pawlowski said, “Allentown is a diverse community and that’s one of the reasons why I am proud to lead it. Any 21st century city that is active, growing and vibrant is going to be diverse. Adrian was the driving force to create the Lehigh Valley's only LGBTQ community center here in Allentown and now he is spearheading the effort to create a national training model. I eagerly anticipate its completion.”
Over the next 12 months, the Allentown Police Department and the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center will collaborate on developing the curriculum, testing and evaluating the curriculum, finalizing the curriculum format, disseminating the curriculum and drafting a final report.
About Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center (www.bradburysullivancenter.org) provides arts and culture and health promotion programs and supportive services to strengthen and support the LGBT community across the Greater Lehigh Valley.