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California law enforcement will receive LGBTQ educational training

LGBTQ Law Enforcement

Starting January 1, 2019, California law enforcement officers and dispatchers will be required to receive educational training about the LGBTQ community. Photo: iStock/avid_creative

Starting Jan. 1, 2019, people training to be California law enforcement officers or public safety dispatchers will be required to receive educational training about the LGBTQ community.

Under Assembly Bill 2504, which Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sunday, the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training are required to develop a course of training for California peace officers and dispatchers on issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity differences.

“Too many LGBTQ people, especially transgender women of color, have had interactions with law enforcement that make it crystal clear that such training is needed,” Rick Zbur, executive director Equality California, which supported the bill, said in a statement.

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California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training will update their standards to require ongoing training for law enforcement officers, administrators, executives, and dispatchers. In mid-January, the commission, which sets minimum selection and training standards for law enforcement in the state, will convene a committee of subject matter experts, including LGBTQ members of law enforcement, to develop the curriculum.

Once the curriculum is completed, it will be implemented into the state’s 41 law enforcement academies.

The commission also will require peace officers be trained on how to respond to incidents involving LGBTQ people such as hate crimes and domestic violence.

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The bill was written by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley).

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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