The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP) has recently announced a new document that aims to improve interactions and strengthen the relationships between the police and the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities. The document, released on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, is a first for Canada and includes important information for police officers including the appropriate terminology to be used when interacting with individuals from LGBTQ communities as well as other selected topics such as hate crimes, strip searches, and youth bullying to name a few.
The living document, which will be updated regularly, was the result of considerable work done by Kyle Kirkup, a lawyer and criminal law scholar who studies LGBTQ issues. OACP’s President, Police Chief Paul Cook, said that Ontario police leaders recognize that the relationship between police and LGBTQ communities has been riddled with discrimination and even harassment in the past and that this resource is meant to provide a starting point to actively deal with these issues. Kirkup hopes that this work will encourage other jurisdictions in Canada and beyond to take on similar projects, using the document as a model.
To view the full Best Practices in Policing and LGBTQ Communities in Ontario document, visit the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police website.