FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Out To Protect Collaborates On Legislation Requiring
LGBT Awareness Training For Police
(April 17, 2018, Santa Rosa CA.) We are pleased to support California Assembly Member Evan Low and his newest bill, Assembly Bill 2504 – Peace Officer Training On Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
This bill adds section 13519.41 to the California Penal Code requiring the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to develop a course of required training for all California peace officers and dispatchers that includes:
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 create an inclusive workplace within law enforcement for sexual orientation and gender identity minorities.
4. Major moments in history related to sexual orientation, 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.
Out To Protect founder Greg Miraglia worked with Officer James Gonzalez, LGBT Liaison Officer at the San Jose Police Department, to write this legislation in consultation with Equality California and Assembly Member Low’s staff.
The overall goal of this bill is to improve the culture in law enforcement for sexual orientation and gender identity minority employees and to improve law enforcement’s effectiveness in serving the LGBTQ+ community in California.
Miraglia testified before the Assembly Public Safety Committee today at the State Capitol. He responded to criticism about the cost of this training explaining that a course meeting the requirements of this bill has already been created and certified by the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. This training can be presented in a variety of ways, including online, so that there is little to no financial burden on the State or local agencies. He told the committee that the California Community College system already funds law enforcement training and can easily accommodate this new class.
Several California police academies already provide the training required by this bill. Miraglia said, “This training will not require any additional hours for basic academy training programs and can be accomplished within the existing required time for cultural diversity. I sincerely hope the California Police Chiefs Association and California Sheriffs Association will demonstrate support for their own LGBTQ+ employees and for the LGBTQ+ citizens they serve by supporting this bill.”
He added, “I’m grateful for Assembly Member Low’s leadership in addressing this critical training need for California’s law enforcement profession. As a working member of that profession for the better part of my adult life, I can say with firsthand experience that homophobia continues to be a significant problem on the job. But I’ve seen the change that is possible when training is made available to law enforcement professionals.”
In 2017, Out To Protect produced an online LGBT Awareness For Law Enforcement course and began providing it for free to law enforcement agencies across the United States. We also developed face-to-face versions of the training now certified by California POST and presented by the Napa Valley Criminal Justice Training Center in Napa, California.
Miraglia added, “We want to help law enforcement improve the work environment for LGBTQ+ employees and to become more skilled and effective in responding to incidents of domestic violence and hate crimes reported by the LGBTQ+ community. We will lend to California POST our subject matter expertise on this topic and share all of the training materials we have already developed to meet the demands of this bill.”
For more information or to arrange an interview:
Call Out To Protect Incorporated 707-728-5428