University of Kentucky Police Department creates LGBTQ* liaisons

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- This week, two University of Kentucky police officers are making history.

Officers Andy Eilertson and Holly Williams are the department’s first ever LGBTQ* liaisons.

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Officer Williams says she always wanted to be a cop. Now, she is not only one of few female motor officers. She is also one of UKPD’s first LGBTQ* liaisons.

“I’m hoping that I can better someone’s life,” Williams said.

She and Officer Andy Eilertson are tasked with building trust and respect between the department and the LGTBQ* community through events and training. It was actually officer Williams’ idea. During Pride Month in June she wanted people to know members of the LGBTQ* community work in the department.

Director of LGBTQ* resources Lance Poston worked with Police Chief Joe Monroe to create the position.

“It really opens that bridge, that gap and gets the communication flowing back and forth,” Monroe said.

Chief Monroe says sometimes LGBTQ* individuals can feel uncomfortable coming to police to talk about their problems. He says he hopes the liaisons will change that.

“I think a lot of times it’s distrust on both sides so to speak, but a lot of times we’re not understanding each other’s values,” Monroe said.

Monroe, Poston, and Williams all agree the liaisons are particularly important on a college campus where kids are transitioning into adulthood.

“I’m not talking to someone who doesn’t know me or doesn’t understand me. I’m actually talking to someone who’s been in these conversations,” Poston said.

Williams says college was certainly a time where she grew. She hopes she can help others do the same.

 

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!