Sgt. Nicholas Tees and Sgt. Jo Mason of GOAL recently participated in a meaningful event celebrating LGBTQIA+ Pride Month for a federal law enforcement agency, Customs and Border Protection. The event occurred at the U.S. Customs House Philadelphia in the morning, where the Area Port of Philadelphia officers and staff gathered for a Pride Month Discussion.
Organized by the Area Port's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and spearheaded by SCBPO Dominic Cicio, the event aimed to foster understanding, promote inclusivity, and raise awareness about the LGBTQIA+ community within the public safety field. Sgt. Tees and Sgt. Mason played an instrumental role in facilitating this open dialogue.
The morning session at the U.S. Customs House provided a platform for officers and staff to engage in an enriching conversation about LGBTQIA+ issues and the importance of creating a supportive environment in the workplace. Sgt. Tees and Sgt. Mason, representing GOAL, shared their personal stories as members of the LGBTQIA+ community working in law enforcement. By sharing their experiences, challenges, and triumphs, they helped to humanize the LGBTQIA+ community and fostered a greater understanding of the unique perspectives they bring to their roles.
In the afternoon, Sgt. Tees and Sgt. Mason extended their outreach efforts to the Philadelphia International Airport, where they met with another group of staff members and officers. This second session allowed them to engage with a broader audience and continue spreading awareness and understanding of LGBTQIA+ issues within public safety, specifically law enforcement.
The LGBTQIA+ Pride Month Discussion organized by the Area Port's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee was a testament to the progress made within law enforcement agencies to create a more inclusive and accepting environment for all individuals. Through events like these, greater understanding, empathy, and support can be cultivated, ensuring that the voices and experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community are heard and respected.