RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A new resource will be available to both student and staff at Virginia Commonwealth University this year, thanks to the VCU Police Department assigning two campus patrol officers to the new roles of campus LGBTQIA+ liaisons.

VCU Police has assigned two campus patrol officers, Hakilah Hudson and Briana Jackson, to the new roles. Both of the selected officers have history with both law enforcement and the school. Jackson has worked for VCU Police for 10 months. She previously served with the Department of Corrections for two years and with Richmond Police for seven years. Hudson has been a police officer with VCU Police for more than a year, and is a current VCU master’s student studying homeland security and emergency preparedness master’s program.

According to VCU Police, the LGBTQIA+ liaison positions are part of the department’s 2022-23 school year goal for community engagement, as well as inclusive community outreach. VCU mandates Safe Zone training for all staff but according to a university announcement, Hudson and Jackson will serve as an extension of that training, and will work with campus groups for outreach and events both on campuses and off campus.

Both of them also feel connected to what the position means, and are excited for what this new position means for the VCU community.

“Throughout those years I have worked with people of all backgrounds. Being a member of the LGBTQIA+ community myself, I felt this role was a great fit,” Jackson said about the position. “It is important for members of the community to have a trustworthy, and relatable, individual to consult with.”

“Once this position as LGBTQIA+ liaison became available, I knew it was something I wanted to get involved with,” Hudson added. “Having the ability to serve and coordinate with an underrepresented community such as the LGBTQIA+ community was something I couldn’t pass up on. Additionally, with the growing concerns between law enforcement and the community, I wanted to be a link that builds those relationships back up. I want to bridge the gap between both groups by establishing an open line of communication and engaging in events that support LGBTQIA+ individuals.”

Hudson and Jackson will be available on both the Monroe Park campus and the MCV campus throughout the school year.