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Gay Rights Leaders Criticize Police Restructuring

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By Peter Granitz

Activists are blasting D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier for ignoring what they say are the needs of the gay community.

Lanier says more than 50 patrol officers will begin training this month to assist the department's special liaison units. Those officers will continue to work in their districts, not strictly for the special units, including the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, as some members of the community would like.

LGBT leaders say Lanier has effectively dismantled the GLLU. They say the unit only has two full-time officers. Lanier says the special units no longer adequately serve the needs of growing populations.

"The SLU will still exist," says Lanier. There will still be a core component of each of the special liaison units that will remain staffed to help coordinate city wide efforts for each of these communities."

Advocates support the expanded presence so long as it's complements a strong central liaison unit.

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