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California bill would require law enforcement receive LGBTQ educational training under

LGBTQ Training Law Enforcement

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. Photo: iStock/avid_creative

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.

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LGBTQ TRAINING

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.”

TRAINING DESERT

California’s Peace Officer Standards and Training “Cultural Diversity” Student Workbook makes minimal mention of LGBTQ co-workers and citizens.

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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.

Also, crimes motivated by LGBTQ bias saw the second-highest rise among hate crimes in the state in 2017, according to the California Department of Justice.

Crimes motivated by sexual orientation increased by 18.8 percent, according to the state data.

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The bill is supported by supported by Equality California, the Sacramento LGBT Center, and other equality-focused groups.

About the author

Beatriz E. Valenzuela

Beatriz E. Valenzuela is an award-winning journalist who’s covered breaking news in Southern California since 2006 and has been on the front lines of national and international news events. She also covers all things nerd, including comic book culture and video games. She’s an amateur obstacle course racer, constant fact-checker, mother of three, and lover of all things geek.

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