DC police change minority outreach ahead of inauguration

WASHINGTON — D.C.’s interim police chief is making changes to the units that work closely with minority groups in the city ahead of Inauguration Day.

The upcoming inauguration has expedited plans to realign D.C. police’s special liaison division units, which serve the city’s various minority groups, Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham announced in a news conference Wednesday. Now the African-American affairs, Asian, deaf and hard of hearing, Latino and LGBTQ liaison units will operate out of a central office in Dupont Circle and report directly to the chief’s office.

The change comes partially in response to safety concerns some minority groups have expressed to officers.

“We have eyes and ears, and we have seen the folks in this region in particular express some concern about the results of the past election,” Newsham said.

He added, “We wanted folks to know just because things have changed at a federal level, things have not changed in Washington, D.C. We’re still going to be an inclusive city.”

As global terrorism concerns rise after the Christmas market attack in Berlin, Newsham said, residents shouldn’t be afraid, but do need to remain vigilant.

“With the upcoming inauguration, with the things we’ve seen throughout the world, the most recent event in Berlin, that ‘see something, say something’ [mentality] is more important than ever,” he said.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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