ISU PD liaison impacts LGBT community

Lt. Joshua Hale of the ISU Police Department answers questions for members of the LGBTQA community Sunday. ISU Police stressed the importance of feeling comfortable on campus and around Ames, and officers wants that safety to encompass all students.

Ellen Bombela

It can be easy for various groups around campus to at times feel isolated or unsafe on a campus full of people who aren’t similar to them.

Thanks to Lt. Joshua Hale of the ISU Police Department, people who are part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Student Services have someone from the police department who will be there for them if they ever need somebody.

Hale, who has worked for ISU Police since 2003, has been the liaison for LGBTSS for about three years.

“Really what we are trying to do is create positive relationships,” Hale said. “I’m someone that they can come and talk to if they aren’t comfortable talking to any other officer. Also we are trying to encourage the reporting of crimes and personal safety training and awareness.”

Most liaisons on campus for the police department are for residence halls and on-campus apartments, but Hale had a special interest in LGBTSS and decided to reach out to the group.

“I brought it up to them,” said Hale. “It really wasn’t something they had thought about. It was kind of a win-win; I got the experience of working with different students that I kind of identify with, and they’re getting the benefit of the outreach that I am providing. The feedback that I’ve gotten so far is that it’s positive.”

Brad Freihoefer, LGBTSS director, said that the organization was very happy with Hale’s decision to be the liaison.

“We thought that for the LGBT community it might actually be a helpful too and a pretty awesome opportunity with Hale’s interests to help make a difference on campus,” Freihoefer said.

Freihoefer expressed that Hale is there for students who might have any questions or concerns about safety or law enforcement processes on campus or if students need anybody to talk to or ask questions about sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

“I think we are very fortunate here at Iowa State University to have Lt. Hale as someone who is so dedicated to making sure that students know the different services and resources that are available to them, to have someone as kind and supportive as him and give students someone to talk to and also to teach students a little bit about safety in general,” Freihoefer said.