Queensland Police Service releases One Step Better video on officers who are also part of the LGBTI community

POLICING: Detective Senior Sergeant Sasha Finney, who is the Officer In Charge of State Crime Command's Synthetic Drug Operations unit, is one of three Queensland Police Service officers featured in the film.
POLICING: Detective Senior Sergeant Sasha Finney, who is the Officer In Charge of State Crime Command's Synthetic Drug Operations unit, is one of three Queensland Police Service officers featured in the film.

QUEENSLAND Police Service has released a video documenting the service of three officers who also part of the LGBTI-plus community.

The 15-minute video, called One Step Better, was released by QPS as part of efforts to inspire more people to consider a career in policing, no matter how they identified.

A Queensland Police Service spokesperson said that QPS reflected the broader community that officers served.

" ... Up until the 1990s, homosexuality was both criminalised and widely condemned throughout most sections of Queensland society," the spokesperson said.

"In 2018, the Queensland Parliament expunged the criminal records of those convicted under those laws.

"One step better demonstrates the transformation of the QPS over the past 30-years and its commitment to bridge divides and reflect the diversity of the people it protects."

Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen, Constable Martina Winkworth and Detective Senior Sergeant Sasha Finney, who is the Officer In Charge of State Crime Command's Synthetic Drug Operations unit, are all featured in the film.

The video shows footage of types of jobs the three are deployed to in their policing careers.

Constable Bjarnesen, who helps patrol Fortitude Valley, said police were often called out to domestic violence incidents, including those that involved same-sex couples.

He said he initially hid his sexuality from his colleagues but had opened up about it, which had allowed him to better help same-sex couples caught up in domestic violence situations.

"They can be quite apprehensive about telling a police officer about their sexuality, so being able to say, you know, its fine, I am not going to judge you (is good) ... ," he said.

"Even in some cases I have told them I am gay myself and that just sort of gives them a bit more comfort, knowing that they are not going to be treated inappropriately."

Senior Sergeant Finney said she hoped the video would inspire people to consider a career in law enforcement.

"I chose to participate in this video because I want to help young people and other LGBTI members of the QPS to know that it's okay to be who you are," she said.

Similarly, Constable Winkworth said she looked forward to seeing how her presence as an openly trans-gendered woman in the QPS would change people's perceptions of the QPS and the trans community.

"I want people to know that it's okay to be trans and that it shouldn't be a barrier in doing whatever it is you want to do in your life," Constable Winkworth said.