MSgt. Grace Peek-Harris, Orlando Police Department

Master Sergeant Grace Peek-Harris has served the citizens of Orlando for 20 years. During the past three years, in addition to her role as a police supervisor, she has served as the department’s LGBTQ Liaison.

Grace has worked tirelessly to build on the continued relationships between the police department and the LGBTQ community, as well as enhance the partnerships within law enforcement since joining the Orlando Police department (OPD) in 1999. She has been in public service her entire adult life, starting out by serving her country in the U.S. Navy. She has served with the Zebra Coalition as the law enforcement representative, currently serves on the board of The LGBT+ Center and is the founder president of the Gay Officers Action League Central Florida (GOALcfl).

Grace has served as OPD’s lead LGBTQ Liaison for the last two years and, over the past year, expanded the liaison program to include four additional officers. At the beginning of this year, Grace started GOALcfl, a nonprofit organization modeled after the long-standing GOAL New York, to ensure a safe place for LGBTQ officers and their ally’s as well as promote positive images to the community we serve.

In 2011, Grace and her significant other at the time had a child together. In 2012, an intense legal proceeding began over custody for the child when Grace and her partner separated. Grace had adopted their son prior to the separation; however, a court overturned the adoption, and that ruling seemed to give the opinion that same-sex couples may have difficulty in joint adoptions and would prevent the non-birth parent from having any rights. At the time there was no marriage equality. The case eventually was heard by the 5th District Court of Appeals, presented by Lambda Legal, and in a landmark decision, Grace was re-awarded joint custody of their son in 2014. Grace’s courage, and love for her son, paved the way for other same-sex adoptions co-parenting.

In 2018, Grace married Ellie Harris. Together, Grace and Ellie Peek-Harris are both actively involved in helping other LGBTQ community members and law enforcement. They reside in Central Florida, with their son.

Grace has always been a true leader and I am proud to call her my friend. She truly represents the best of our community and those who dedicate their lives to public service. She is magnificent representation of the LGBTQ community. Her work and her commitment to others, which she will continue long after her retirement in 2020, is why she is one of Watermark’s 2019 Most Remarkable People.

More in Features

See More