US: Boston police adopt new rules for treatment of transgender people

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Boston police have issued new guidelines on the treatment of transgender people by its officers.

The policy was issued last week, and requires police officers to address transgender people by their preferred name, whether or not it is their legal name.

The Special Order states in part, “The policy of the Boston Police Department is to treat all individuals with dignity, respect, and professionalism. Officers shall at all times abide by Boston Police Department Rule 102 §9 (Respectful Treatment), as well as the City of Boston Office of Human Resources’ ‘Guidelines to Prevent Gender Identity Discrimination’ when interacting with transgender individuals.”

Use of appropriate pronouns, as chosen by the person, is also included in the new rules, reports the Associated Press.

The new policy also gives transgender criminal suspects the right to request their preference out of a male or female officer, if they are to be frisked, and the right to be held in a cell alone.

As part of the new guidelines, a “Statement of Search Preference Form” must now be completed by the transgender individual; choosing to have a female or male police officer to conduct their search.

These new guidelines were issue five months after the settlement of a case brought by a transgender woman who was placed under arrest for refusing to leave the women’s bathroom at a Boston homeless shelter.

The Policy was developed with the assistance of and in partnership with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition and BPD’s LGBT liaison Javier Pagan