Even though crimes against LGBTQ people increased almost 20 percent last year, California law enforcement officers and dispatchers are not required under state standards to receive educational training about the community.
A bill making its way through the State Legislature would correct that mistake.
Assembly Bill 2504 unanimously passed the State Senate Monday by a 37-0 vote and returns to the Assembly Thursday for a concurrence vote.
The bill would require the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to develop training for law enforcement officers and dispatchers regarding sexual orientation issues and gender identity differences that would improve how law enforcement treats and interacts with the LGBTQ community.
“California is home to the largest LGBTQ population in the country,” said Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Cupertino), who authored the bill. “This legislation is an active step toward keeping our community safer and will increase trust in law enforcement within the LGBT community.”
California’s Peace Officer Standards and Training “Cultural Diversity” Student Workbook makes minimal mention of LGBTQ co-workers and citizens.
Law enforcement officers and dispatchers receive no training on responding to incidents involving LGBTQ people, even though rates of domestic violence in same-sex relationships are comparable to opposite-sex relationships.
Crimes motivated by sexual orientation increased by 18.8 percent, according to the state data.
The bill is supported by supported by Equality California, the Sacramento LGBT Center, and other equality-focused groups.