Tapp-Harper said the department is constantly watching for best practices in training and updating its procedures to deal with modern situations.

The conversation also veered away from LGBT issues and touched on broader crimes.

When asked about the arson at Da Vinci's Market and Bistro in the 800 block of Park Ave. in Mount Vernon in July, in which two men were killed, Batts said the department has "very strong leads that we believe in," but declined to provide more information other than to say that the incident was isolated.

When asked about the department's relatively recent "Public Enemy No. 1" campaign, in which the department has singled out particularly dangerous criminals, Batts said the program has been a huge success in terms of intelligence gathering.

"We started getting calls in by the droves," he said, a response he said flies in the face of the "mythology" of an anti-snitching culture in Baltimore.

During the forum, police also handed out an information sheet showing crime statistics, including one showing a six percent decline in violent crime in the city this year, compared to last.

Batts said while city residents, the media and "my boss'" focus is on the homicide count -- an apparent reference to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake -- his is on the broader picture.

When asked about transgender women being harrassed in the Baltimore City Detention Center, Batts said it's something he can talk about with Gary Maynard, the state's corrections secretary, as the state runs the jail.

After the meeting, Batts said the low turnout might be an indication that the department already has "good communication" with the gay community. If it was the rain, or a lack of awareness, he said, he'd be happy to return -- next time with the officers who work the neighborhood, so they can hear the complaints first hand.

Smith, of Baltimore Black Pride, said he felt the forum went well, but he hopes to arrange another meeting between police and younger black LGBT city residents.

"They are who we see out in the community who don't have this information," he said, and who are being profiled and harrassed the most.