The Evanston Police Department has named Sgt. Melissa Sacluti as its liaison for Evanston’s LGBT community.

Sgt. Sacluti will serve as a connection for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community as part of the city’s continued commitment to serve the diverse needs of all residents.

“I am extremely grateful to the Evanston Police Department and Sgt. Sacluti,” Alderman Mark Tendam, 6th Ward, said in a statement. “With the establishment of a police liaison, the LGBT community now has a dedicated voice serving them.”

In addition to her current duties, Sgt. Sacluti will be responsible for fostering positive relations between the LGBT community and the police department, and ensuring that police department policies remain sensitive to residents’ needs.

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl said, “The creation of an LGBT Police Liaison demonstrates our dedication to service and inclusion. We look forward to continuing a positive relationship with our LGBT neighbors and friends.” 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. How do LGBT needs differ from everyone else’s?

    I fully support equal rights for everyone and deplore bigotry.  However, I am not sure what this position is supposed to accomplish.

    If I am gay and get robbed am I supposed to call Sgt. Sacluti?  

    How does one liason with the LGBT community?  It is not like there are meetings or places in town where there is a concentration of LGBT people living.

    I know that LGBT populations are subject to hate crimes at a larger proportion than non-LGBT people, but outside of that how do their public safety needs differ from everyone else's?

    Wouldn't it make sense to just have a hate crimes investigator who looks at crimes where sexual orientation, race, religion, and age are the main variables in the criminal act?

    1. But then…

      If they had one investigator, they would not be able to hire [it will come] a race investigator, a religion investigator, age investigator along with this investigator.

      As long as you define special personnel for every form of crime, you can keep budgets high and shift the responsibility to others. Are the police to shift what they do, to others?

      Thus the Council would have fewer people beholden to them, fewer government jobs, smaller budgets [to increase each year].

    2. LGBT Liaison

      While I agree that it may not be really necessary to address the needs of a specific group of residents, my inquisitive mind was wondering if there was an ulterior motive for this appoitnment, and I came up with this: the LGBT community has a higher disposable income than other groups. They tend to follow the rules and the laws in place. Gay marriage is legal in Illinois. All those factor will contribute to the creation of new upper-middle class families. Upper-middle class families have been an important part of the Evanston economy for a long time and maybe this is an attempt to attract new residents/families to our town, with the tax benefits that they may bring. But again, this is only my assumption…

    3. new officer

      So…if a gay, mixed-race senior citizen, who happens to practice an "odd/different" religion gets harassed……would they then get counseling by 4 different people from the EPD?  I agree that there only needs to be one person who deals with ALL hate crimes, etc…..this can get  ridiculous.  A hate crime is a hate crime…all the same..and one is not any less important than another.   They are all intolerable.

  2. Inclusion?

    I wonder about the range of opinion is among gay people.  I am sure there are some very much in favor of this, but I would bet there are some dissenters.  Have a LGBT liaison implies that LGBT people are not like everyone else in regard to police service.  Complete inclusion would mean there is no need to identify gay people as a group.  

    1. So much for equality

      To paraphrase a line from George Orwell's "Animal Farm," if everyone is created equal, why are some people more equal than others?  Why is special treatment warranted?

      Having such a position on the payroll, well intentioned as it is, should be viewed as an insult.

  3. Why does one group get special police privileges?

    What would the duties of this LGBT liasion entail? How much time will be spent away from the typical police duties to serve as this liasion? What are the "special needs" the LGBT community need from police? 

    Is there an Evanston police liasion for African-Americans, hispanics, Asians, Mormons, Muslims etc. If not, why not?

    This sounds like another politically correct appointment that gives one group extra police privileges. I wonder how much sway 6th Ward Alderman Mark Tendam had in this appointment?  

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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