Article Title:Here to help, but not one of us
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:15th October 2003 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2050
Text:The first police liaison officer position for the LGBT community has been created in the Waikato district, with Senior Sgt Bruce Lyon taking up the position – but the NZ Herald asks us to note that he's as straight as they come, with a wife and stepdaughter to match. It is hoped that Mr Lyon's heterosexuality won't be too much of a handicap when it comes to helping a segment of the population that does not have a historically healthy relationship with police. Mr Lyon volunteered for the position after a tolerance seminar given to police by Waikato district commander Kelvin Powell, saying that he hoped his own experiences with his gay brother would help him make a connection with Hamilton's gay community. He had seen many of his brother's friends rejected by family because of their sexuality. He aims to build up trust between the community and police, so that crimes do not go unreported out of fear, as well as working within the police force to encourage gay officers to talk openly about issues. It is not without trepidation that Senior Sgt Lyon faces all of his tasks, however. "It will be a fairly big call walking into a gay bar on a Friday night," he says. "I will have to get out of my comfort zone a bit." Hopefully no more than most of us do every day.    
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