The Frederick Police Department is forming a Multicultural Liaison Unit and launching a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club in hopes of building better relationships with residents and ensuring equitable policing, the agency announced Thursday.
Starting July 1, FPD will introduce the seven police officers assigned to the Multicultural Liaison Unit (MCLU). They will engage with the African American community, Asian American community, deaf and hard of hearing community, Hispanic/Latino community and the LGBTQIA+ community, according to a news release. Photographs and contact information for the officers will be on the police department’s website shortly, the release states.
The responsibilities of the officers will go beyond the typical job description.
“In addition to their regular patrol duties, these officers will be responsible for attending meetings and special events within their assigned communities, engaging with residents, and visiting local businesses,” the release states. “Liaison officers will be available to handle matters of a sensitive nature and will assist in connecting crime victims to available resources.”
Also starting in July, FPD will launch a partnership with the Boys & Girls Club in Frederick. Children ranging in age from 6 to 16 will find police officers at the club five afternoons a week participating in fun, educational activities, according to FPD. This will include officers of various ranks, from those just starting out to the chief.
“The goal of this program is for our entire department to connect with kids from across the city, building relationships and reducing fear of police,” FPD said in its statement.
Chief Jason Lando, who took the helm of the department in March, said the two initiatives are the first of many planned for Frederick.
“The Frederick Police Department is known for being a leader in policing,” Lando said in a prepared statement. “We are committed to staying ahead of the curve in how we train our officers and the innovative ways in which we work with our residents. At a time when many in policing are stepping back, our officers are stepping up. I could not be more proud of their willingness to serve our community.”