Criminal JusticeLocal NewsAustin Police Department to Host LGBT Criminal Justice ‘World Conference’ in 2025

This year's conference in Australia will cover subjects such as transgender-inclusive policing, sex work, and LGBT conversion practices.
February 21, 2023
The Austin Police Department (APD) announced it would host the fourth LGBTIQ+ World Conference for Criminal Justice Professionals in 2025.

The conference is organized by the group Proud To Be Your Friend, which has held these events around the world since 2016.

The APD, in association with the Lesbian and Gay Peace Officers Association (LGPOA), has collaborated to bring this event to Texas.

Proud To Be Your Friend has routinely praised the APD for its creation of LGBT programs.

During the 2019 conference in Toronto, a program was held with Sergeant Michael Crumrine of APD. There, Crumrine promoted the department’s “It Gets Better” video, the Comprehensive Transgender Equality Training, and LGPOA getting the City of Austin to create “inclusive health care benefits” for all city employees in the process of going through medical sex transition.

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This year’s conference is being held in Melbourne, Australia. Promoters of the event have expressed a focus on “sex worker reform” and the inclusion of advocates and activists together with government officials to be part of their conference.

Other events at this year’s conference include themes for “Becoming a Trans Inclusive Police Service,” “Sex Work: The New Frontier for Diversity and Inclusion,” and “Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices.”

APD has had long relationships with a variety of different organizations. The “It Gets Better” video was done in collaboration with progressive gender and sexuality organization The Trevor Project.

In 2021, the City of Austin worked to “reimagine” the APD by approving training by a systemic racism group for $10,000 a day.

The APD in conjunction with the LGPOA has also introduced “transgender equity training” for current officers and cadet recruits.

The recommendations for training include “Tackling long-term racial and gender inequalities” and “issues of systemic racism.”

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) training is a political and social progressive concept that aims to change the way institutions operate from the inside, placing emphasis on demographics considered “historically oppressed or disadvantaged.”

An increased focus on “DEI-related” courses including “The History of Police and Race in America” are listed as short-term goals.

Measures of improvement for this training emphasize how new police cadets should be trained to understand that “95% of day-to-day policing is more akin to social services than policing,” and that the police academy should incorporate “anti-racism” and “cultural diversity training.” 

The APD has had difficulty with resignations and recruitment in recent years.  The department has authorized 1,809 positions, but the latest report shows their officer staffing being more than 10 percent below that number. Of those 190 vacancies, 31 percent are patrol support officers.


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Cameron Abrams

Cameron Abrams is a reporter for The Texan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tabor College and a Master’s Degree from University of the Pacific, Cameron is finishing his doctoral studies where his research focuses on the postmodern philosophical influences in education. In his free time, you will find him listening to a podcast while training for an endurance running event.