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Thursday, June 25, 2015

BART Police Adopts New Policy For Transgender People

Posted By on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 11:31 AM

click to enlarge CHRIS BECKETT/FLICKR
  • Chris Beckett/Flickr

BART police have adopted sweeping new policy guidelines around interactions with transgender people. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, it is among the first such policies adopted by a major law enforcement agency.

“BPD officers and employees are to interact with transgender people and the transgender community in a manner that is professional, respectful, and courteous," the policy states. "Officers are cautioned not to treat a person’s transgender status or appearance as a basis of suspicion or as evidence of a crime."

BPD officers are urged to ask transgender people the name and pronoun they prefer. BPD forms that require recording gender will also be revised to include a transgender category.

Also included in the policy are instructions not to remove prosthetics, wigs, clothes, or make-up; instructions to provide medical care — such as hormones — when requested; and instructions to ascertain a transgender person’s legal name in a private, one-on-one interaction. BPD officers are also prohibited from searching a person’s genitalia to determine gender identity.

This policy comes a week after Supervisor Malia Cohen introduced an ordinance that would required the SFPD and Sheriff’s Department to collect and report broader demographic data, including sex and gender identity.

"People are less aware of profiling that occurs against the trans community," Cohen told SF Weekly. "But trans people experience three times as much police violence. For trans people of color, it's even worse."

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