Atlanta Police Create LGBT Advisory Board

In a clear response to the rift between the Atlanta police and the LGBT community, the city's police department has created a nine-person advisory board. The diversely selected committee, which consists partly of a business owner, a transgender activist, and a minister, is intended to open a dialogue between the two groups.

WABE in Atlanta reports on the committee: Gay

No matter how strong the nine members may be, the new LGBT advisory board is just that advisory. It has no policy-making or fiduciary power. And even before the board's first meeting, at least one person is questioning the transparency of the selection process.

"I simply just want to know, as do a lot of people within the LGBT community, how was the selection process conducted?" asked Charlie Stadtlander, a high school teacher and who unsuccessfully ran for the school board. He says several people nominated him for the LGBT advisory panel. He wasn't selected. And while he agrees the nine appointees are well-qualified, he says he never got the sense APD had formal standards for choosing the board.

"We all are questioning what the interview process was, how was the selection process conducted, and what criteria was actually used to select the panel?"

LGBT liaison Powell admits the selection process was informal, but stands behind her decisions. She says the nine members will allow APD to reach communities that, in the past, may not have had a line of communication with the department. And while it will take time, dialogue, and some say an apology from APD for past wrongs, most agree the board has the potential to begin rebuilding those burnt bridges.

You may recall that hundreds of people protested a police raid at the Atlanta Eagle in 2009. Charges against those bar employees arrested that night were later dropped.


  1. says

    “We all are questioning what the interview process was, how was the selection process conducted, and what criteria was actually used to select the panel?”

    We are, or just you (Charlie Stadtlander)? Sounds like a little entitlement thingy going on here. Wouldn’t want something like this to get in the way of your political ambitions.

  2. Tollendyr says

    I’m actually somewhat surprised/disgusted that it’s taken as long as it has for something as simple as this seemingly powerless advisory committee to be formed.

    Powell may think that burnt bridges can be repaired, but honestly how much successful repairing can be done when the APD have clearly dragged their feet, and not admitted to their past indiscretions? If the APD was truly concerned with bridges between communities, wouldn’t this advisory board have been a good idea the same week the police raid happened? It’s taken them just shy of a full year to get this in place?

  3. Atlanta Cynic says

    The Mayor and police department picked people who can be counted on not to challenge them for one reason or another, either because of their jobs (e.g., owner of a LGBT retail business that needs city and police support), their positions (e.g., head of a government funded AIDS charity), or their political backgrounds (e.g. city politico). This panel is a sham brought to you by the same people who still refuse to apologize for a warrantless police raid of a gay bar. Charlie may be sore he wasn’t picked but that doesn’t mean he is the only person in Atlanta who thinks this panel is nothing but spin.

  4. ratbastard says

    Atlanta City Hall is whitewashing the issue. This is a BS position…other cities like mine also have them. City halls everywhere always try first and foremost to cover up problems; problems are bad for business.

Leave A Reply