The Little Rock police said today that it would announce next week a transgender policy developed in cooperation with the Arkansas Trans Equality Coalition.
It will be announced at 5 p.m. Nov. 19 at Philander Smith College as part of a Transgender Day of Remembrance. The release said, “the department is committed to treating everyone with fairness, dignity and respect.
Coincidentally, the Human Rights Campaign released yesterday its annual survey of how the nation’s biggest cities rank in treatment of LGBT people. Little Rock fell well below the national average and far below Fayetteville. Among the factors rated were police policies. The breakdown showed Little Rock with a zero score in the law enforcement category on relationship with the LGBT community and a hate crimes index. Perhaps this step to recognize the particular obstacles transgender people face will improve next year’s rating.
Here’s a policy adopted by the Atlanta police this year. By way of example:
The policy recommends that officers use the name and pronoun given by the individual, whether or not it matches gender assigned at birth, and generally be respectful. It also says that personal items associated with a person’s gender identity, such as prosthetics, clothing and wigs, are subject to search, but can be retained by the person if “reasonable safety concerns” are resolved. APD’s written records will match government ID, subject to an employee’s “verification” of gender if a person has no ID with them.