Cops hopes to improve relationship with LGBTQ community

Jacksonville sheriff appoints liaison team after 3 transgender women killed

By Corley Peel - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Members of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office's newly appointed community liaison team said they hope to improve the department's relationship with the LGBTQ community.

The appointment of the liaison team by Sheriff Mike Williams comes after the murders of three transgender women in Jacksonville within the past eight months.

Members of the LGBTQ who attended Wednesday's gathering told News4Jax they were happy about the liaison team. 

Asst. Chief Adam Pendley volunteered to become part of the team. He felt his 25 years with the Sheriff's Office and relationship with LGBTQ members would benefit the community as a whole.

"Our goal is to provide an open line of communication to answer questions. To provide a link, so if people have questions and concerns they have someone to reach out to specifically," Pendley said.

For months, LGBTQ activists, like Chloie Kensington, have been fighting for change and more protection.

"I hope that the community sees that we are doing something, and that the deaths of the transgender women of color in this city -- their lives matter," Kensington said.

Some LGBTQ members say one of their biggest concerns is members of the Sheriff's Office misgendering transgender women during an investigation. Pendley says the liaisons will help improve communication.

"I think as we learn more and as that area of training is passed to other areas of the department, I think that relationship is only going to improve," Pendley said.

Pendley and LGBTQ members feel the liaison team is the beginning of building a stronger relationship with the community.

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