SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Peace officers will now need to undergo training on sexual orientation and gender identity in order to better deal with minority groups in the state of California.
Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 2504 on Sunday. The bill requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to develop a training course with input from “sexual orientation and gender identity minority members of law enforcement and the community who have expertise in the area of sexual orientation and gender identity.” The group must have at least one male member, one female member, and one transgender member.
The training must include:
- Understanding the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity
- Knowing the words used to identify and describe both sexual orientation and gender identity
- How to create an inclusive workplace within law enforcement for those groups
- Information on important milestones in history relating to sexual orientation and gender identity minorities and law enforcement
- Ways for law enforcement to respond to domestic violence and hate crime cases involving sexual orientation and gender identity minorities
The existing law already requires law enforcement training on racial and cultural differences. Entry-level officers are required to undergo 24 hours of cultural diversity training and 8 hours of disability awareness training.
The Department of Justice says hate crimes involving LGBT people are the second most common bias motivation, according the the Senate’s analysis of AB 2504.
The bill’s author, Assemblyman Evan Low (D- San Jose), said, “AB 2504 will better prepare peace officers in their response to incidents that involve LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] individuals, and help foster a workplace for law enforcement in which LGBT individuals feel comfortable and valued. Providing history and proper terminology regarding gender identity and sexual orientation and how they relate to race, culture and religion, promotion of an LGBT inclusive workplace and including best practices to properly respond to LGBT specific hate crimes and domestic violence is a key element to protecting one of California’s most vulnerable communities.”
Several groups supported the bill, including: Equity California, Indivisible Sacramento, Matthew Shepard Foundation, Rainbow Chamber, Sacramento LGBT Community Center, and Transgender Community of Police & Sheriffs.