Australian police officer Brenton Erkens-Goss died by suicide yesterday (28 June) afternoon.
The Senior Constable of Hamilton Police Station in Victoria ‘tragically succumbed to his inner demons,’ according to a Facebook post.
‘Brenton was a great copper and an even greater friend, and will be missed terribly by many,’ the Cop Humour Australia post read. ‘Our sincere condolences go out to Brenton’s family, colleagues, and friends.’
Erkens-Goss was one of more than 100 Victoria Police LGBTI Liaison Officers working to build rapport and trust with the LGBTI community and help tackle prejudice-motivated crimes and family violence.
He also attended the inaugural World LGBT Conference for Criminal Justice Professionals in Amsterdam in 2017.
‘Please look after one another during this devastating time,’ the post read. ‘And if you’re feeling down, please speak to someone — reach out to family, a friend, a colleague, anyone.’
Brenton Erkens-Goss: ‘Everyone deserves to be treated equally’
In an interview he gave to the Sydney Star Observer in 2017, Brenton Erkens-Goss revealed he hid his sexuality when he first joined the police force.
‘But now the Academy is very, very supportive,’ he said.
Erkens-Goss said society is ‘not quite there yet’ when it comes to equality for LGBTI people, but ‘we’re definitely gaining ground’.
‘Everyone deserves to be treated equally,’ he said. ‘And be able to live in their own skin without having to hide who they truly are.’
He then added: ‘If someone asked me about joining Victoria Police, I’d say go for it! Victoria Police is an inclusive organisation with a lot of career progression.’
If you need help and support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.