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Austin LGBT police officers to release “It Gets Better” video

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Austin Police release a video in hopes of preventing the suicide of teens who are struggling with their sexuality.

In July, 29 officers and civilian APD employees shared their most personal thoughts for a public service announcement to help teens who can't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

It's part of the "It Gets Better" project.

The final version was released on Friday, September 21, just in time for pride weekend.

One of the participants was Commander Cathy Haggerty.

"I didn't want to be the damsel in distress being protected. I wanted to protect the damsel in distress," Haggerty said on the video.

"Just because you come out doesn't mean it's wonderful," she said.

When the times get tough, the officers of the Lesbian & Gay Peace Officers' Association want you to reach out to them for help, especially if bullying is involved.

"Do not let people bully you. You call us. We'll be your voice. We will be your protector," said Chief Art Acevedo.

The message isn't all sad because things do get better.

"You're in this special club. You've got this exclusive membership and they can't take that away from you," said one of the officers.

"You are not an abomination. You are what God created," another officer said.

"If you're true to yourself and you stick with it, it does get better people see past that and see you...who you are," Haggerty said.

"There is love, there is hope, there is life," said Officer Steve McCormick.

If you or someone you know may be thinking of hurting themselves, call 911. A good helpline to call is the Trevor Project at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR, or 866-488-7386.

If you would like to speak with an officer about bullying call 512-974-8546.

To view the entire public service announcement click here.

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