Yesterday I had the honor of giving the invocation for the LAPD Chief’s LGTQ Forum. This is a quarterly gathering of law enforcement, fire department officials and LGBTQ community leaders and LA city leaders under Chief Beck and Asst. Chief Grimala’s leadership. Together this is an opportunity to engage, listen and learn from one another and work together to ensure that LAPD is sensitive to the LGBTQ community, that we form a partnership in the area of community policing and build bridges for any and all interactions between the LAPD and law enforcement and the LGBTQ community. This forum and the working group has done amazing work to train the LAPD on transgender issues and sensitize the deputies and officers so that they can be respectful and treat all who they come in contact with in a dignified manner.
This forum also works together on issues of hate crimes, homelessness and immigration. I was particularly impressed with LAPD’s commitment to serving all the residents. Did you know that LAPD will not report any undocumented immigrant? They do not work with ICE in the jails or any other incidents and Chief Beck assured all of us gathered there that while there is definitely fear in the immigrant community, should the undocumented have need of police help that they can trust and turn to their local police for help. Very reassuring in these troubling times.
Here is the invocation I delivered;
For the LGBTQ Police Advisory Council
On this evening we gather as a community to listen and learn from each other. May our hearts be ever open. Let our ears hear clearly without preconceived ideas. May our eyes be open wide to the possibilities that abound. Let our hands be joined in solidarity and friendship. May our ideas be shared in the service of peace in our neighborhoods. Let our words be delivered with kindness and wisdom. May our thoughts be offered in the interest of building the world as we wish to see it- a rainbow of diverse people living together in harmony. Safe and free to love and live; work and play so that we may build lives of noble purpose and meaning.
May the bonds we forge in this communal setting be bonds of understanding and learning and appreciation. Protect our law enforcement officers, fire men and women and those who serve from all harm. And protect all of the residents and citizens of our city of Angeles from violence, crime and/or brutal force. May the LGBTQ community and the Los Angeles Police Department continue to forge between us cooperation, understanding and most importantly seeing in each other our shared humanity – A gift of the Divine.
Holy One of Blessing. Bless us in our endeavors tonight. Give strength to these your children, the representatives who are gathered here. So that we may always bless and wish one another with these words uttered by your servant Moses to his successor Joshua: Chazak v’ematz, Be strong and of good courage. Tonight may our work together strengthen us and our resolve to be vessels of holy endeavors and may we encourage each other to achieve that harmony we so desire. As the prophet Isaiah teaches: Peace Peace to the far and near.
Ken Yehi Ratzon—So May it Be God’s will.