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Police Liaison Officers create an inclusive Logan

Published: 30 May 2016

Police Liaison Officers create an inclusive Logan
L to R: Chief Superintendent Marty Mickelson, Sgt Julie Williams, PLO Shakira Kolia, PLO Saad Al-Shaikhli, PLO Andrea Heath, POL Alexander Crichton, Snr Constable Virginia Spence, Senior Constable Sharon Macrae.

Local police are now well equipped to positively engage with residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in the City of Logan thanks to six specially trained Police Liaison Officers.

These officers speak a number of different languages and come from Indigenous, Pacific Islander, Muslim and other cultural backgrounds.

The importance of Police Liaison Officers in creating cohesive, inclusive and safe communities was highlighted at the Logan: City of Choice summit in 2013, resulting in the appointment of a Police Liaison Officer of Pacific Islander heritage to the Logan District Cross Cultural Liaison Unit.

The unit has now seen considerable expansion over the past three years, allowing Queensland Police Service to foster positive working relationships with different communities across the City of Logan. The Police Liaison Officers work tirelessly to break down barriers between police and the community under the guidance of Officer in Charge of the Cross Cultural Liaison Unit, Sergeant Julie Williams.

While some cultures are historically distrustful of police and other authorities, the Police Liaison Officers provide an essential link between these communities and police. Understanding the customs of different cultures within the City of Logan has allowed the Police Liaison Officers to work with these groups to spread the community safety message to all residents.

Working across a broad range of demographics and community safety related matters, the Police Liaison Officers support a range of initiatives including delivering personal safety sessions to vulnerable residents and groups, mentoring local high school students in the Open Gates Program, filling the role of Adopt a Cop at Logan high schools and supporting youth in the transition from custodial accommodation back into their community.

It is not uncommon to see Police Liaison Officers out and about at a range of community events, providing advice and information to residents on a wide array of community safety topics. Referrals from Queensland Police Officers from across Logan District also keep the Cross Cultural Liaison Unit busy as they help support victims of crime.

These officers not only work with the community, they work with their colleagues in the Queensland Police Service - Logan District - to educate sworn officers in cultural awareness. All first year constables commencing duties in Logan District are provided with an understanding of the city's cultural diversity. These officers are provided with information on the customs of different cultural groups and how best to engage with different cultures when on duty.

For further information on the vital role of Police Liaison Officers visit www.police.qld.gov.au/join/plo.htm.