San Francisco’s 10 police stations have been designated as safe havens for members of the LGBT community to report crimes.
Police Chief Greg Suhr said LGBT Safe Zone signs posted on station windows promise a respectful, courteous and compassionate encounter with police. The signs are part of a project that came together after an assault in the Mission district in February in which a transgender person was attacked while leaving a bar, Mission Police Station Capt. Bob Moser said. They mark the station as a space where victims can feel comfortable and speak to a trained professional.
“We’re a Police Department for everybody,” Suhr said.
Suhr spoke about a history of distrust of police that needs to be replaced with a mentality of a progressive, accepting police force that includes members of the LGBT community.
The program, organized through the chief’s LGBT Community Advisory Forum, which works with Castro Community on Patrol and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, aims to dissuade members of the gay community from thinking they will be re-victimized when reporting a crime.
Sister Pat N Leather said the LGBT community is suffering from an underreporting of crimes.
“You don’t have to feel ashamed of what happened to you,” the sister said.