Justice Department Launches Nationwide Transgender Education Training for Police Stations

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an education program designed to help local police departments better understand and handle issues affecting transgender individuals.

Chicago Phoenix reports:

Tony west“It’s clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue,” Associate Attorney General Tony West said. “Because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement.”

The program will be overseen by the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service, which works to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Lesson plans include suggestions for addressing school bullying, and lists of do’s and don’ts, with don’ts including using terms like “transvestite” and asking whether a transgender person has had “sex reassignment” or “sex change” surgery.

Harper Jean Tobin, who as policy director at the National Center for Transgender Equality helped design the program, said it was an important first step in improving how the nation's police departments address hate crimes against trans people. However, she said more work is needed in order to truly fix the problems between transgener individuals and law enforcement. 

"You can't train your way out of this problem. It's one piece of the puzzle. It's one tool that we can use," she said.


  1. says

    AMEN. it’s about freakin’ time.

    there needs to be sensitivity in training in police departments around the world. my mum goes to a lot of the precincts here in toronto to do workshops on diversity/sensitivity education with the police forces. it’s sorely needed. those whose job it is to serve and protect need to be completely and utterly informed about the realities facing ALL OF THOSE whom they swear to serve and protect.

  2. JMartindale says

    Little Kiwi, I don’t think it is appropriate for you to be referring to trans* people as freaks. How would you like it if someone called you that?

  3. Andrew says

    It is good for police to get training in trans issues because law enforcement is forced to deal with the trans population so frequently.

    Transfolk are very much involved in a range of criminal activity ranging from illegal drug sales and use to property crimes to prostitution to assaults and robberies. Trans activists also engage in sex crimes, as when they deceive their “cis” hookup partners about their gender identity.

  4. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “Transfolk are very much involved in a range of criminal activity…”

    Oh, yeah, and politically right-wing homosexuals are very much involved in a range of mental illness difficulites….”

    Rick, by now all regular visitors to Towleroad know when you’re posting your regular sh!t under a different posting name.