LONDON, ONT. -- London police raised the new progress Pride flag at their headquarters on Dundas Street, Friday morning.

"We’ve had some opposition from some groups within the community that have asked us not to raise the flag, however, we’re also cognizant of our membership who does contain members of the LGBT2Q community. So we’re doing this in support of them and the wider community," said Chief Steve Williams, London Police Services.

London police raise the Pride flag

London police raise the Pride flag (Marek Sutherland / CTV News)

For the first time in many years, officers have been told not to participate in this year’s Pride London Festival which got underway Thursday and will be virtual due to COVID-19.

Deputy Chief Stu Betts says they are raising the flag to support members of the service who are also part of the LGBTQ community in London.

"I feel really fortunate today as we raise the flag, I actually have my wife and kids here, so they can see us raise the flag, and it really is a show of support for the LGBTQ+ community within our organization but also the community at large," said Constable Anthea Fordyce, diversity officer with London Police Services.

The Pride London Festival will run until July 26.

With files from Nick Paparella and Marek Sutherland