As he promised yesterday (Tuesday, May 31), Dallas Police Chief David Brown has issued a statement regarding his appearance in April at a press conference staged by the Rev. Robert Jeffress, anti-LGBT pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas, and Jeffress’ offer of counseling services to Dallas police officers, and on his meeting yesterday with LGBT leaders.
Brown did not, in his statement, specifically acknowledge that his appearance with Jeffress caused harm to the LGBT community, as Resource Center CEO Cece Cox said Monday afternoon was expected. He did, however, stress that his department “values the LGBT community” and is committed to working with the community to improve communication and enhance safety.
Here is the statement, released about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, in its entirety:
The Dallas Police Department values the LGBT community and is committed to improving communication and working together to enhance public safety. The Department takes the role of protecting our entire community seriously.
Today, the Dallas Police Department met with members of the LGBT community to listen to their concerns and to acknowledge their hurt associated with Pastor Jeffress’ comments. The discussion started with the main concern regarding the perceived relationship with First Baptist Dallas, which held a Back to Blue event on April 17, 2016. The event was to show support for the Dallas Police Department and offer free services to officers and their families. Chief Brown reiterated that there is no agreement or relationship with First Baptist Dallas. Attending this event was not an endorsement of anyone’s views or religion. The purpose was the acceptance of support to help our officers. The discussion continued with an update on the investigations of criminal offenses in the Oaklawn area, efforts to improve communications, and the dedication of police resources.
The meeting was very productive and everyone agreed to work together to continue to grow the trust in the community.