The Philly Police are making huge changes to their transgender and non-binary policy. Philly’s office of LBGTQ affairs shared a post on their website about how it’s trying to make the justice system more accomodating to those in the trans and non-binary community.
Philly Police shared with Metro that officers must use a person’s chosen pronouns and name when interacting with them. Regardless of what it may say on their ID, cops want to make sure respectful terminology is used. This includes whether the person they are speaking to is a suspect, arrestee, victim, or witness.
One of the things that police wanted to make clear is that prejudice is not welcomed in the department, so much so that it outlines in the policy that, “Personnel will not exhibit any bias, nor will they pre-judge, or discriminate against an individual or group of members based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”
Additionally, and perhaps a response to the recent Facebook probe it says, “Personnel will not make discourteous or disrespectful remarks regarding another person’s actual or perceived race, color, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, religious creed, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry or disability.”
Philly police are also making sure officers are being trained to transport trans people who are in custody to the nearest medical facility to address their medical needs such as hormone therapy, etc.
For protection, cops are planning to transport trans people separately from other incarcerated people. This is not the only precaution; officers will be taking when it comes to incarcerated trans people. Another precaution to protect the trans community in jail, and to avoid situations where individuals can feel threatened, officials said they will place trans arrestees in a “secure single cell.”
The policy also outlines how cops are being specially trained for media on how to speak about transgender and non-binary individuals.