ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — For Rochester police officers Audrey DiPoala and Christiana Sedita, their journies coming out — like it was for so many others — wasn’t easy, especially wearing a badge.

“I’ve been in law enforcement since 2000 and things changed from now to then. I was uncomfortable coming out,” Sedita said.

“You never know how people are going to react, especially in a law enforcement capacity,” DiPoala said.

In addition to fighting crime, they are LGBTQ+ liaisons for the department, assisting those in the ranks, and those out in the community. 

“We’re here to help them. Sometimes they just don’t feel that comfortable, some aren’t out yet,” Sedita said.

“We do form that kind of bridge between the community and cops, educating kind of both sides,” said DiPoala.

DiPoala saying, despite what you might think, it’s pretty open and progressive at the police department. “So I think diversification is always important,” she adds.

And with RPD recruitment a challenge, both ladies say letting the LGBTQ community know they are welcome to serve, is a must. 

“We are in a big hiring push right now — so we’re talking about kind of reaching out in the lesbian, gay, transgender community to bring them in as potential candidates,” DiPoala said.

As always, First Responders Spotlight is brought to you by our friends at Bill Gray’s. If you’re interested in learning more about the careers at the Rochester Police Department, click here.