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Thursday, April 14, 2011

APD talks APEX at LGBT meeting

The Atlanta Police Department — in another attempt to polish up it's image with the gay community in the post-Eagle raid era — hosted a meet-and-greet at Outwrite Books in Midtown last night.

According to Project Q, both LGBT liaisons — Pat Powell and Brian Sharp — were in attendance, as well as several members of the department's top brass, including Major Chris Leighty of the APEX Unit.

If you'll recall, the APEX — which stands for, a doi, Atlanta Proactive Enforcement & Interdiction — is the unit that's replacing the recently disbanded Red Dog Unit, which was responsible for the 2009 raid of the Atlanta Eagle.

Some of what was brought up at last night's event was the LGBT-specific sensitivity training APEX underwent and the fact that former Red Dog members were accepted into the new unit, three of whom participated in the Eagle Raid.

From Project Q:

The department’s replacement for Red Dog, APEX, includes up to 10 former Red Dog members among a roster of officers that will eventually grow to about three-dozen. But Major Chris Leighty (third photo) told participants at the Outwrite event on Wednesday that the tactical unit has new commanders and officers who had to undergo a rigorous process to be selected for APEX.

But Leighty, a former SWAT commander who oversees APEX, said the new unit includes three former Red Dog members that took part in the Eagle raid. While he said the background of the officers “was fine,” he was “not sure of their role” in the raid.

The APD hadn't released much information about new unit. In late March, CL asked APD spokesman Carlos Campos for details about the new unit — it's purpose, the criteria followed when selecting applicants, the number of former Red Dog officers who made the cut — but that request has yet to be fulfilled. Campos simply said they'd provide details "soon."

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