LGBT Awareness Training Comes To California


Today, California Governor Jerry Brown made history by enacting the first state law to provide LGBTQ awareness training for law enforcement officers and dispatchers.  Effective January 1, 2019, section 13519.41 will be added to the California Penal Code as follows:

Section 13519.41

(a) The commission shall develop and implement a course of training regarding sexual orientation and gender identity minority groups in this state. In developing the training, the commission shall consult with sexual orientation and gender identity minority members of law enforcement and the community who have expertise in the area of sexual orientation and gender identity, including at least one male, one female, and one transgender person.
(b) The course of training for officers and dispatchers described in subdivision (a) shall be incorporated into the course or courses of basic training for law enforcement officers and dispatchers and shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) The difference between sexual orientation and gender identity and how these two aspects of identity relate to each other and to race, culture, and religion.
(2) The terminology used to identify and describe sexual orientation and gender identity.
(3) How to create an inclusive workplace within law enforcement for sexual orientation and gender identity minorities.
(4) Important moments in history related to sexual orientation and gender identity minorities and law enforcement.
(5) How law enforcement can respond effectively to domestic violence and hate crimes involving sexual orientation and gender identity minorities.
(c) Law enforcement officers, administrators, executives, and dispatchers may participate in supplementary training that includes all of the topics described in this section. The supplementary training shall fulfill the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training requirements for continuing professional training and shall include facilitated discussions and learning activities, including scenario training exercises. Additional training courses to update this instruction shall be established as deemed necessary by the commission.

In anticipation of the passage of this law, we have created course curriculum that can be delivered in a face-to-face or online format.  Both formats of the course have been certified by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) through the Napa Valley College Criminal Justice Training Center.  We will be working with the San Jose Police Department and Napa Valley Criminal Justice Training Center to provide a training for trainers in order to make this curriculum available to any agency wishing to use it.

We are grateful to Assembly Member Evan Low, who sponsored this bill, and to Governor Brown for signing it.  We were honored to be part of the writing of this Bill.  We believe this training will give law enforcement the culture competence necessary to better service members of the LGBTQ community, including all sexual orientation and gender identity minority residents of California.

We strongly encourage law enforcement executives and training managers to begin providing this training immediately.  To learn more about the offerings of this training, go to www.nvccjtc.org and select Advanced Officer Training.

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