Wed, June 13 2012Media Contact
Director of Communications & Marketing
New York, NY, June 13 2012 - The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, the world's second largest LGBT Center, today praised changes to the New York City Police Department Patrol Guide that will help ensure that police officers treat transgender and gender non-conforming people with dignity and respect.
"These crucial changes to the Patrol Guide are a major step forward in improving conditions for transgender and gender non-conforming people in New York City," said the Center’s Director of Community Services and NYPD LGBT Advisory Panel Member Carrie Davis. "The immense efforts from all involved have resulted in a stronger relationship between the NYPD and organizations that advocate on behalf of the LGBT community."
The patrol guide changes are the result of negotiations between LGBT advocacy groups including the Center, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s office and the NYPD. They address an array of unique problems that transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers face when they are arrested, processed and detained in police precincts. The revisions include:
- Prohibiting the use of discourteous or disrespectful remarks regarding a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
- Instructing police officers refer to transgender New Yorkers by names, honorifics and pronouns that reflect their gender identity (even if it does not match the information on their ID documents) and amending forms so that people’s "preferred name" can be recorded and used while they are in police custody.
- Prohibiting police officers from conducting any search for the purpose of determining a person’s gender. This also applies to school safety officers, NYPD personnel assigned to the city’s public schools.
- Individuals in NYPD custody will be searched by an officer of the gender they request. If their request is not honored, the reasons will be noted in the command log.
- Defining "gender" to include gender identity and expression, consistent with the city’s Human Rights Law. This means that when the NYPD have to take into account someone's gender, it is their gender identity that matters, if even if one’s gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth.
- Individuals in NYPD custody will be held in sex segregated police facilities according to their gender identity, even if it differs from their sex assigned at birth, unless there is a concern for the person’s safety, in which case they will be considered "special category prisoners" and placed accordingly.
- "Special category prisoners," including transgender people, will not be cuffed to rails, bars or chairs for unreasonable periods of time.
The Center and advocates from the LGBT community will continue to work with the NYPD on training and enforcement to ensure that the Patrol Guide changes are effectively implemented. The Center’s Gender Identity Project (GIP) was founded in 1989 and is the first transgender-driven project initiated and fully supported within a Community Center, and focused on the needs of the greater queer community. The GIP works to foster the healthy development of transgender and gender non-conforming people, partners, family and community. Through the delivery of a range of supportive services, advocacy, outreach, education and capacity-building, the GIP creates a safe and productive atmosphere for community-building, wellness and self-care, and leadership development.
The Center and the GIP will also continue advocating for the Community Safety Act, civil rights legislation pending before the New York City Council that would broaden the communities protected against police profiling by including a prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity or expression, sexual orientation among several other categories.
About the Center
A beacon of hope for 29 years, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center builds and supports our community through arts and culture, wellness and recovery, family services and life-saving youth programs designed to foster healthy development in a safe, affirming environment. The Center envisions a world where LGBT people will no longer face discrimination or isolation because of who we are or who we love. We offer a welcoming home to 300,000 visitors each year and we are committed to serving all LGBT people through a variety of programs, services and activities that are designed to meet existing and emerging needs.The Center is many things to many people. We invite you to experience our home at 208 West 13th Street in person and online at gaycenter.org