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In the early 1990’s, the St. Petersburg Police Department prepared a new mission statement, setting forth an expanded role for the police working in partnership with the community to solve important community problems.
The St. Petersburg Police Department is committed to establishing and maintaining a meaningful and productive partnership with the community. The goal is to achieve excellence by facilitating a partnership between members and the citizens in order to mutually identify and resolve community problems. This partnership will ultimately enhance the safety and quality of life for the citizens of our community.
During that time, many of the law enforcement Departments experimenting with and even implementing community policing only did so on a limited basis focusing their resources on “high-crime” neighborhoods. The St. Petersburg Police Department embarked on a Department-wide community policing philosophy with City-wide deployment.
This philosophy has led to the current model of Community Service in which Community Service Officers communicate with residents and work to solve Quality of Life issues. This Community Liaison Model now includes not only every member of the Police Department, but every employee of the City.
The mission of the LGBTQ liaison is to develop and strengthen the relationships with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning community with the St. Petersburg Police Department. This is accomplished through the personal contact of Lt. Markus Hughes with the community leaders, residents, businesses, and non-profits within the LGBTQ community. He serves as a direct conduit for the LGBTQ community and their allies with any criminal or quality of life issues they may face. He also reaches out to any victims of reported hate crimes, offering any needed assistance as they navigate the criminal justice system. By doing so, Lt. Markus Hughes contributes to the creation of mutual trust between the Police Department and the LGBTQ community so everyone gains increasing confidence in the police through the provision of fair and professional policing services.