Thursday 4 May 2017

May the (Police) Force Be With You

Yes, I know. The title is a cliché of the tired-old Star Wars joke but with recent events in the news I thought I’d bring this article forward a few weeks to today.

The murder of an openly gay policeman in Paris a couple of weeks ago in a terror attack reminds us all of the wonderful work they do to protect us. The same can be said of the police officer murdered in a similar manner outside the House of Parliament in London. On a more positive side the UK saw the coming out of the police officer who was recently appointed to the highest rank in the UK, Cressida Dick, the new Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

The relationship between the lgbt community and the police around the world still throws up some serious matters for concern (but then, so do the actions of some elements in the lgbt community). However, that’s not the concern of today’s article. Since 2000 there has been an increasing acceptance of lgbt police officers within the service itself, though the legacy of suspicion within the lgbt community has been slower in acceptance. Sometimes it is difficult to believe that the police are not homophobic when individual police officers express their homophobia.

There are many openly lgbt police officers of all ranks around the world. Below is a 3-part table listing some of them who have achieved notability. Because I live in the UK and have more information readily to hand I hope you don’t mind if I concentrate on the UK police today. I’m preparing articles on other police forces for later in the year.
The titles of the higher ranks vary between some forces and to produce the tables I’ve used the shoulder epaulette insignia, which are much more unified and better at giving a visual indication of equal ranks. The lowest ranks are listed first. At the bottom of the third chart is Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Her insignia seems to indicate a rank higher than a Chief Constable. The Metropolitan Police doesn’t have the rank of Chief Constable, and has extra senior ranks that other forces don’t have. Hence she appears to outrank the Chief Constables when, in fact, she doesn’t (only in London, as the Chief Constable’s outrank her in their own area of authority).

You can also see some gaps. Because I brought this article forward a few weeks I haven’t had time to research the ranks with gaps. I will update this article when I do.

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