Celebrating Pride In the NYPD

Cops and community gathered in NYPD Headquarters Wednesday night to celebrate Pride Month.  Police Commissioner James O’Neill, NYPD executives, hundreds of officers and the Gay Officers Action League (GOAL) were in attendance for the event that marks the 35th anniversary of GOAL.

GOAL’s Ally Award was given to Police Officer Michael Hance (posthumously) and Deputy Commissioner of Administration Cathleen Perez.  A tribute to Police Officer Michael Hance was performed by 2nd Lieutenant Deuntay Diggs of the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office. The Visibility Award was given to Bravo television host Andy Cohen.

“Tonight we celebrate something that may seem uncomplicated to some, but it’s actually one of the most difficult things to do in life: being who you are – everywhere, all the time, with everyone,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill. “For me, that’s what pride means.”

“It’s openness, it’s inclusion, it’s the freedom to live your life on your terms and it’s an undeniable right for all of us.”

The Department is establishing a new Patrol Guide procedure that will ease the path for members of the service who decide to notify the department that they are gender non-conforming, transgender or undergoing transition. The procedure will provide guidance as our members navigate this life experience.

GOAL was formed in 1982 to address the needs, issues, and concerns of gay and lesbian law enforcement personnel and has since expanded to a nonprofit tax-exempt civil rights organization. GOAL was founded by Charles Henry “Charlie” Cochrane, Jr. (August 5, 1943–May 5, 2008) a sergeant in the New York City Police Department, who after delivering a public testimony on anti-gay discrimination legislation pending before the New York City Council, became the first openly gay officer of the NYPD. Since his founding the fraternal organization has advocated for the rights of its members and has assisted them on matters of discrimination, harassment, and disparate treatment in the workplace. GOAL furthers its mission by providing training at the NYPD Police Academy and Jersey City Police Department, among others.


Detective Brian Downey, president of GOAL, welcomes everyone to NYPD Headquarters.


Andy Cohen receives the Visibility Award from GOAL.

Deputy Commissioner Perez receives award from GOAL.

Family of Police Officer Michael Hance receives award from GOAL.