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Five police officers spoke at the sixth annual Gay Men's Health Summit in Salt Lake City last Saturday about what it's like being a gay law enforcement officer as well as concerns about the gay men's health issues, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The officers shared stories warning of the dangers of the "party and play" phenomenon--ingesting crystal meth and having unprotected sex--which has been a growing concern among gays for many years.
The men also mentioned that while all police officers must work hard to earn the respect and trust of their peers, gay officers face additional challenges since they must overcome stereotypes within their departments and the community.
The officers on the panel agreed that police personnel respect them for being dedicated to their jobs. The officers are allowed to work in the gay community, but none of the panelists were in uniform--which they said is because some police officials remain hesitant to allow openly gay cops to represent the department, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. (The Advocate)