All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Natalie Todak

Advisory Committee Members

Heith Copes

Cody Telep

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ) College of Arts and Sciences


Most research studying diversity in policing has focused on women and people of color as the target groups to be recruited and hired. Few scholars have examined the topic of Lesbi-an, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (also known as LGBTQ+) individuals in law enforcement, resulting in a lack of awareness of their poten-tial benefits for the profession. Moreover, the few existing studies in this area tend to doc-ument the negative workplace experiences of openly gay officers, particularly with respect to their interactions with colleagues. While it is important to understand the challenges faced by nontraditional race and gender groups in law enforcement, it is equally necessary to study how LGBTQ+ police officers may be beneficial for improving the relationships be-tween the police and the communities they serve, and specifically for improving the police response to LGBTQ+ citizens in need of protection and services. The current study is drawn on data from sixteen semi-structured phone interviews with police officers who openly identify as LGBTQ+, with the goal of understanding how participants believe their sexual orientation assists them in carrying out their duties on the job. Participants describe the current atmosphere of their departments and benefits of integrating LGBTQ+ officers in police personnel suggesting a positive shift in police subculture as it pertains to views on LGBTQ+ communities. Keywords: Queer, Policing, Perspective, Atmosphere, Benefit



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.