RVA Police Chief and City Council Honor Virginia Pride Day
Tarasovic speaks before the VA Pride audience
Saturday’s Virginia Pride was the first time Richmond Police Department had an active presence at the statewide LGBTQ event.
Richmond Police Chief Ray J. Tarasovic spoke before the crowd of about two thousand people, explaining his support for the event and his hopes for a positive relationship between RPD and Richmond’s LGBTQ population. “One of the things we did early on was change our mission statement to be more reflective of who we are – two simple things – that we will do community policing, and we will engage with the community,” said Tarasovic.
He went on to joke that engaging over 200 thousand people can be a challenge, but each community in Richmond deserved RPD’s attention. “This city is a diamond, and each of our communities is a facet of that diamond, and you are one of those shining facets.”
Tarasovic spoke without a prepared speech, and seemed genuinely interested and happy to be a part of the celebration.
A RPD recruitment table was present near VA PRides main entrance. There was a steady stream of people stopping by – but when asked if a photo could be taken of the 2 women working at the booth, they declined to have their faces shown.
After Tarasovic left the stage, RPD’s Chief-of-Staff Major Odetta Johnson read a copy of a proclamation for Richmond Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer Pride Day.
“The honorable members of city council… do hereby unite in solidarity in common purpose to recognize, honor and celebrate the diversity shared among shared humanity and civil rights of our entire community and it’s all residents…” said Johnson.
RPD’s Chief-of-Staff Major Odetta Johnson
“where as, each of us are born into the world the way we are and should be able to live without the fear of prejudice, discrimination, hatred or violence based upon our gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The proclamation was signed by Richmond City Council President Charles Samuels.
The police presence at Pride happened in part because of the work of the Central Virginia Rainbow Partnership (CVRP)- a collection of non-profit leaders and community members working to enhance the relationship between RVA’s LGBTQ community and the greater Richmond community. Bill Harrison has played a lead role in the CVRP and introduced Tarasovic before the speech at Pride.
“(Tarasovic) wants his force and his staff and force to be reflective of the community,” said Harrison. “He’s here because he cares about us.”
In line with the political impacts made at VA Pride, Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis made an appearance at the event. The third-party candidate has been touring Pride events around the state sharing his message.
“A lot of people don’t know I’m running,” said Sarvis. “But increasingly I meet people who already know about my campaign and this crowd is very supportive.”
The Fairfax lawyer and software developer has a personal connection with the LGBT community when it comes to marriage equality – Sarvis’s wife is black, and his interracial marriage would have been illegal less than 50 years ago.
Robert Sarvis, Libertarian Candidate for Governor
“I go around the state talking to people on the right, the left, and the middle, and I find a lot of people don’t even know we had those laws way back when,” said Sarvis. “And a lot of the arguments made against same-sex marriage are the same ones they made against interracial marriage. They were bad arguments when they made them then, and they’re bad arguments now.”
Sarvis is still polling too low to earn a place in the next Gubernatorial debates, but if he can hit the 10% mark, he’ll get his chance to square off against Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli.
Those who do not look upon law enforcement favorably rarely have the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings with police officers in a safe environment.March 21, 2016
- Meet the new RVA LGBTQ Police Liaison, Henrico Commonwealth Attorney this Saturday at Diversity Richmond, January 12, 2016
- Virginia Pride 2015 in photos, September 14, 2015
- Meet Richmond’s new Police Chief, and LGBTQ Ally, Alfred Durham, March 25, 2015
- Prev Lawyers Who Fought Prop 8 Sign on To Fight VA’s Same-sex Marriage Ban
- Next Copy Of Text from RVA City Council
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