Heros Come in All Forms

Back in 1981 at a City Council hearing in New York City, a fiery debate was occurring on the gay rights bill. Pat Burns, Vice President for the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, stated that he knew of no gay cops and argued against the bill.

A few minutes later, Sgt. Charles Cochrane spoke and came out to his fellow police officers. “I am very proud of being a New York City policeman,” he said. “And I’m equally proud of being gay.”

In June, New York City named Greenwich Village corner Sgt. Charles H. Cochrane Way. The location is just a few feet away from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. This church is where Sgt. Cochrane and other LGBTQ police officers met and formed the Gay Officers Action League or GOAL.

Detective Brian Downey, the current President of GOAL, said Cochrane’s testimony all those years ago was a game-changer. “Heroes come in all forms. I’m where I am because of what this man did. From what I know of him, there’s one word that sums him up what he did — courage.”

Sgt. Cochrane died of cancer in 2008 at age 64.


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Rainbow Patrol

Rainbow Patrol

On July 8, students and staff gathered at the University of Central Florida as the campus’ police department displayed their mark of respect to the victims of the Pulse shooting. “This is our commitment to diversity and to the community that we support and we’re not the least bit afraid to show that support.” UCF Police Chief Richard Beary said.

The new police car is being called the Pride Car with ‘Police’ in rainbow colors and the hashtag #OrlandoStrong. “To me, it’s just another effort that we’re out here for everybody, not just one particular group of people.” said Peter Osterrieder, the UCF police officer who is driving the vehicle.

On July 13, the Orlando Police Department unveiled their memorial police cruiser on Twitter. The hood of the vehicle lists the names of all 49 victims from the Pulse nightclub attack. Orlando Police Department spokesperson, Michelle Guido, states “It’s Vehicle No. 49, a tribute to our community, forever changed by the Pulse tragedy.” The department anticipates the car will be ready for the road next week.

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