The Philadelphia Police Department is in the process of implementing a new policy on how it interacts with transgender people. Philly.com reports that officials worked with the LGBT community to put together a nine-page directive that instructs cops on everything from proper pronoun usage to basic definitions of trans men and women.
"The times have evolved, and not just within the Police Department," Lt. John Stanford told Philly.com. "You see it across the board in so many different areas. We have to learn to adapt to the times."
Stanford says the policy won't be executed immediately, because they need time to instruct cops on all the new criteria. "It's not something that will happen across the board overnight. ... "It's going to take time for folks to understand and learn all of the terminology."
What is this new terminology, you ask? Here are some of the new guidelines:
- Ask transgender individuals which pronouns - he/him, she/her - that they prefer the officers to use.
- Never use demeaning or derogatory language, or stop and question an individual just to call attention to the person's gender identity.
- Use a person's preferred gender identity - based on information the person or family provides, rather than what's listed on the individual's government-issued ID - when releasing information about a suspect, victim or witness to the media.
- Transport and house transgender suspects separately from other inmates when possible.