San Jose

SJPD New Policies Train Officers to Improve Interaction With LGBTQ+ Community

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San Jose Police Department officers have new policies in place that will train them to better communicate with the LGBTQ+ community when making contact with them.

For a couple of years, the Department has been working more closely with the community and now has an assigned officer liaison. In addition, language to describe the LGBTQ+ community has been written into the Department's duty manual.

Officer Edward Carboni has been on the force since 2017 and said he felt at home when the Pride patch was unveiled and the Pride flag was raised at the police headquarters two years ago.

Carboni now applauds the SJPD for the new guidelines in the manual.

The duty manual covers different aspects such as what names and labels to use out in the field, to the words officers use when writing a report involving the community - especially the trans, binary and gender diverse communities.

Sera Fernando from the Santa Clara County Office of LGBTQ affairs aided the department in writing the new policy.

An example of what she helped explained in the manual is when officers use a birth given name in an investigation rather than someone's chosen name, it adds to that person's pain.

“That will just further harm the individual and will cause more depression because of the treatment that person is supposed to be getting with law enforcement in terms of not  getting the pronouns right," Fernando said.

Every police officer will receive in-person training on the new policy and cadets will visit the Billy Defrank LGBTQ Center as part of academ training.

"Its really about respect and dignity. Its about calling people by the name they use regardless what a legal document may say," said SJPD officer James Gonzales.

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