GAITHERSBURG, Md. -- The LGBTQ community met with Montgomery County Police Tuesday.
Police said the meeting was something they had in the works for a while, and the Orlando mass shooting only emphasized the need to start the conversation on a local level.
The first ever meeting of its kind was about bridging the gap and increasing trust between police officers and the LGBTQ community. Chief Thomas Manger emphasized the fact that hate crimes do exist. In fact, in the last year there were two transgender women murdered in Montgomery County.
“And how many go unreported? I think a lot of people in this room know better than I that we are lucky if we get 50 percent of the crimes reported, and it may be less than that, Manger explained.
In response to the dozens of lives lost in the Orlando shooting, police talked about new training and response techniques for officers and civilians as well as the importance of a mindset change.
Officers also touched on the details that go into response tactics when mass shootings occur. They explained that emergency responders have to first determine whether the assailant is holding hostages, in which case a negotiator could help defuse the situation, or if the assailant is holding what are referred to as “doomed captives”, in which case Emergency Response Teams need to eliminate the threat as soon as possible.
The next meeting will be September 21.