VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach Police has a new African American community liaison officer.

Sergeant Christopher “Chris” Washington has been with the department for 12 years. In his new role, Sgt. Washington will work toward bridging the gap between the VBPD and the African American community.

Police say Sgt. Washington will closely work with neighborhoods, businesses, churches and schools to help make the city “a safer and more equitable place to live” by building a positive relationship with the community.

In a release Monday, VBPD officials say the department recognizes and values the importance of community outreach and the need to ensure all members of the community feel they are treated with respect and dignity.

Sgt. Washington can be reached at CWashing@vbgov.com or (757) 385-8785.

Sgt. Washington is not alone as part of the department’s efforts to reach more community members in the city. Last year, the department also established the Hispanic Empowerment and Resources Team or “HEART.”

In addition, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office introduced Deputy Evertson to community members last year as the office’s first LGBT Liaison.

Deputy Evertson joined the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office in 2015 and has served in Correctional Operations, Intake and Court Security. She is a member of the VBSO Honor Guard and Recruitment Team. She is also a Crisis Intervention Team instructor who trains deputies on responding to mental health crises.

The LGBT Liaison position was created in 2017 with the goal of building better relationships with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities and fostering an inclusive workplace.

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