The St. Paul Police Department is joining a national movement by drafting its first policy dedicated to the treatment of transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
The department released the draft version Tuesday and called a public meeting to help shape a final policy it hopes will be adopted later this year.
“People of color and trans folks do not feel safe around police, and we really need to work on those relations, so I think that by having St. Paul issue this policy, it’s a step in the right direction,” said Dot Belstler, executive director of Twin Cities Pride.
Some of the guidelines include: police personnel will use a person’s preferred pronouns; people can request an officer of a specific gender for body searches “unless there are exigent circumstances”; police cannot remove a person’s appearance-related items, such as wigs and prosthetics, unless there is a safety risk; and the department will provide appropriate restrooms.
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