By Tim Jimenez
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The District Attorney’s office in Philadelphia hosted an LGBT forum Tuesday night, where a few dozen community members got a chance to meet with law enforcement and express any safety concerns they may have.
District Attorney Seth Williams calls this long overdue, letting members of the LGBT community know they’re there for them and hearing about times they may feel unsafe or threatened.
“People will yell expletives at them,” Williams said. “Might target them. And they have every right to be safe.”
Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said “Everyone needs to have a voice,” and no one should be afraid to call police. He says the department works on having a better understanding of the community, which Wililams says includes those who serve and protect.
“They also need to know that there’s a significant percentage of the police department that is lesbian and gay and bisexual and transgendered even. People need to know that and that many of my staff are members of that community as well.”
Williams is hoping to have similar forums around the city, residents of different neighborhoods he says may have different needs and concerns.