UPD Officers Showing Pride – SUNY Cortland
Officers of the SUNY Cortland University Police Department take pride in their work year-round.
During the month of June, however, they and SUNY law enforcement officers are encouraged to don a newly created official rainbow patch to identify themselves as strong allies during LGBTQIA+ Pride Month. .
The Red Dragons have a special reason to brag about creating these embroidered uniform badges: the folks at the SUNY Cortland University Police Department made it possible.
Officer Danielle Salisbury came up with the idea for these official patches that allow campus police officers to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex and other non-heterosexual members of the campus community, according to Cortland UPD leader Mark DePaull.
“The (College Police) Commissioner has approved the wearing of the State University of New York Police pride patch on University Police uniforms statewide,” DePaull said. .
State University of New York Police Commissioner and SUNY Cortland sociology graduate Mary Sullivan Ritayik ’97 explained, “It’s a past practice of the State University Police Department. of New York to show support for national organizations or campaigns by wearing a ‘themed uniform patch.
“This month, in conjunction with the Chancellor’s Office, a uniform shoulder patch in support of LGBTQIA+ Pride Month may be displayed on the uniform, if the department so chooses,” Ritayik said in a May 9 memo to university police chiefs.
Additionally, Salisbury has raised $5 from anyone wishing to purchase a patch, with all proceeds going to the Point Foundation, a 20-year-old organization that aims to empower promising lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students to achieve their comprehensive academic goals. and the potential for leadership – despite the obstacles often put in front of them – to have a significant impact on society.
“It’s one of the largest nonprofits nationwide to benefit LGBTQ, college-aspiring youth and provide mentorship in education and community service,” said Salisbury. “They also fund scholarships for aspiring LGBTQ youth.”
Salisbury said it all started as a mission in partnership with Officer Jennilee Valentin to foster closer ties between the UPD and campus, Cortland and the state’s LGBTQ+ community by attending conferences and meetings. group gatherings including SPECTRUM and the TransAction conference on campus and the Cortland LGBTQ Center in the local community. SUNY Cortland resources for students and employees include: Center for Gender and Cross-Cultural Studies, Pride Club, SafeZone Training, and Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Committee. gender (SOGIE).
“I love art and design, and I was wondering if the State University of New York ever had a pride badge,” Salisbury said. “I contacted a few people, including my boss, who has been here for over 30 years, and asked, ‘Has this been done yet?’ And every response I got was, “No, I don’t believe we’ve ever had any.”
“As bad as it is, it’s good for us,” Salisbury said. “It’s progress. It’s something we can do. So I kind of took my idea and ran with it.
Salisbury’s essential design was to preserve intact the SUNY college police badge in a rainbow of colors. After close collaboration with the patch design company, this was achieved exactly one year ago.
Salisbury commissioned a campus expedition even though she was unsure if the state would approve of her idea.
“I really wanted to do the patch,” Salisbury said. “I was always motivated even if it was just for local representation and to raise awareness and funds for the Point Foundation.”
His next task was to work with Chief DePaull to pass the initiative through the UPD chain of command to see if SUNY would adopt it for statewide use.
“The chef was 100% behind this initiative from the start,” Salisbury said. “He spoke to the college police commissioner and brought the patch to the New York State Chiefs of Police Conference.”
It probably helped that the commissioner was also a red dragon.
As for Salisbury, she sent one of her own uniform shirts to a tailor to have the standard college police crest replaced with one she helped create.
“So I have a specific jersey with my pride patch on it and it will remain so every year from now for the month of June,” Salisbury said.
It’s a good thing for Salisbury. Because the orders have been pouring in and she’s already missing the first batch of 251 police pride patches. She orders 251 more. Patches can be obtained from Salisbury and she will be happy to arrange shipping if required.