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.
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.