#GMPeople: meet the officer working with LGBTQ+ communities nationally
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An officer who works in Tameside on response but also volunteers a large chunk of his spare time volunteering as a national voice for LGBTQ+ officers and staff has said policing is "a career for anyone" and "no one should hide who they are".
Chief Inspector Lee Broadstock knew at the age of five that he wanted to become a police officer but was worried about the reputation of the police so he first joined as a Special Constable for three years beforehand.
It was then that Lee changed his mind and realised policing was a career for anyone. He said: "Policing was always something that I wanted to do - I remember being five and when the teacher asked us to draw what we wanted to do when we grew up, I drew a police officer.
"Policing had a reputation back then as not being welcoming to difference, so I joined as a Special for three years and then completely changed my mind so I decided to join back in 2005 as an officer in Collyhurst, Manchester."
Manchester is close to the 46-year-old's heart after he left home to go to Manchester Pride and never returned home.
Lee said: "I came to Manchester Pride years ago and never returned home because of fears over who I was but tide has been turned and I've always felt really supported at GMP.
"People being themselves brings more to the job which means I can do the job so much better because I'm not thinking about hiding something. No one should hide who they are.
"That's why I also wanted to volunteer for the network as I wanted others to feel the same.
"The role is voluntary on top of my day job and I'm proud to be a representative voice for LGTBQ+ officers, staff and volunteers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland which means I speak with stakeholders and try and continue to build confidence and trust in policing.
"Back in the 90s and early 2000s, policing wasn't seen as supportive in the LGTBQ+ communities and organisations and now we're in a position where people are coming to us so much more and really engaging with us.
"By being in the network, I've been involved with many charities and we've really worked to change the perception of community policing. I truly believe we serve the LGTBQ+ community so much better than we did before and I think organisations and charities are really starting to realise that and work in partnership with us.
"All of the work we did around the horrific crimes of Reynhard Sinaga in Manchester was an example of that, we worked with LGBTQ+ charities and it ended up being one of the biggest operations GMP has ever seen which led to him being jailed for a huge amount of time."
Aside from his volunteering role, Lee works on response and operations in Tameside and is also a Tactical Firearms Commander. He's even worked in the team leading the manhunt for Dale Cregan who killed two Greater Manchester Police officers in 2012.
He added: "Being a police officer is the best job I've ever had - you can really make a huge positive different to communities and there's not many jobs where you can really change lives."