KCPD-LGBT Liasion officer Rebecca Caster receives Meritorius Service Award

KCPD-LGBT Liaison Officer Rebecca Caster was selected to receive the Kansas City Police Department’s Meritorious Service Award for her work with the KCPD & LGBT community.
The Kansas City Police Department held the awards ceremony at the Police Academy on the evening of July 28, 2015 to honor various officers for their service to the community and valor in their handling of significant crime episodes.
Photo courtesy of the KCPD.
Following is the text of their award to Officer Caster:
Officer Rebecca Caster was placed in a newly created position with only one direction: to be a liaison between the KCPD and the Kansas City Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community.
Since 2013, Officer Caster’s efforts have built a strong bond between the two, even as she continued her work as a patrol officer.
She is the first officer to organize LGBT employees for meetings and to help the KCPD community become more open-minded about LGBT issues.
With little direction, Officer Caster took it upon herself to develop this connection by participating in LGBT community meetings and events; providing input on KCPD policies in relation to the LGBT community, coordinating KCPD-LGBT lunch-and-learns for civilians and officers, coordinating LGBT educational opportunities for the department and identifying opportunities for the KCPD to partner and support the LGBT community.
“She has exceeded the expectations of everyone associated with the position,” Captain Dan Haley said. “While most officers would have attended LGBT-centered community meetings to fulfill the initial premise, Officer Caster chose to make a needed difference in the KCPD.”
Officer Caster didn’t stop there. In May 2013, she recognized that the KCPD Family Medical Leave policy did not provide equal protection for Department LGBT members. She was able to meet with staff of the Research and Development Division to incorporate LGBT members and unmarried members alike to care for a sick domestic partner under the Family Medical Leave Act. That is just one example of a handful of the things Officer Caster has changed since becoming the LGBT Liaison.
Justin Shaw, Executive Director of the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, said, “As the LGBT Liaison for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department, Officer Caster has been a voice for the community; she has been able to speak up when education is needed within the department.”
This year, she has helped the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project develop a training for KCPD civilian staff to increase awareness of issues that impact LGBT victims of violence, as well as how to ensure a safe and welcoming workplace for LGBT staff in the KCPD.
By having a visible presence at major events such as KC Pride and AIDS Walk, Officer Caster has positioned herself as a familiar face the community can trust.
For her exceptional initiative, tenacity and expertise, Chief Darryl Forté, along with the Board of Police Commissioners, is pleased to present the Meritorious Service Award to Officer Rebecca Caster.

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