NYPD top cop Keechant Sewell joined the Gay Officers Action League and several elected officials to mark National Coming Out Day Tuesday, Oct. 11, by unveiling a new department app that will give officers greater access to LGBTQIA+ resources.
Sewell revealed that the app would be installed on every officer’s smartphone by the end of Tuesday in honor of the occasion. Dubbed, the LGBTQIA+ resource map application, the app will give field officers searchable access to community centers, advocacy organizations and other resources.
“We all know we live and work in a very diverse city, and we know that all types of resources are available if we just know where to find them. And now NYPD officers will have that critical information at their fingertips, and we’ll be able to share it with the people we serve,” Sewell said. “If someone is looking for LGBTQIA+ appropriate support related to legal, medical, shelter, mental health, or a host of other vital services, they can now turn to any NYPD officer for assistance.”
This is the latest effort the NYPD is undergoing in an attempt to make the department more accessible to every resident of the city, including those most vulnerable. According to Sewell, cops can use the app to search for resources either by a street address or a given area. The map is promised to include more than 150 locations across the city while also being periodically updated.
“It will become an invaluable tool for providing Crime Victim Assistance and facilitating community outreach and neighborhood policing,” Sewell stated.
Congressman Ritchie Torres, a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, championed the implementation of the app during its announcement at police headquarters. Torres believes this app will be a game changer when it comes to ensuring those in need receive access to aid and support.
“Regardless of who you are, and who you love and even though our society has made extraordinary progress, we know that LGBTQ equality is far from mission accomplished. There continues to be LGBTQ youth who are bullied at school by their peers or evicted from their homes by their own parents. We know that homelessness disproportionately affects LGBTQ youth and if you’re homeless and LGBTQ youth, you’re much more susceptible to violence and substance abuse. And so, there’s a dire need for services as a part of technology to connect youth in crisis to services,” Torres said.
The NYPD also provided a demonstration of the app, showcasing how any address can be punched in before swiftly revealing the resources available.