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City partners with Pride Center for GR Police and Fire Department training

“The Pride Center training is an important step in advancing our efforts to embed equity and inclusion in City policies and practices.”

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — This week, the Grand Rapids City Commission approved a contract with the Grand Rapids Pride Center for an in-person training program for all sworn members of the Grand Rapids Police Department and the Grand Rapids Fire Department.

The training program will be designed to expand capacity and build awareness of inclusive public safety practices that recognize, affirm and show mutual respect for 2-SLGBTQIA+ community members and intersecting identities.

2-SLGBTQIA+ stands for Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual. The plus sign is meant to include affiliated identities not specified in the initialism.

This partnership builds upon the LGBTQIA+ 101 training offered to all staff by the Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center and the formal liaison role held within the Grand Rapids Police Department by Lieutenant Maureen O’Brien to support LGBTQIA+ inclusive law enforcement practices.

“The Fire Department is a welcomed addition for a more robust approach to inclusive public safety,” said Stacy Stout, director of the Office of Equity and Engagement. “The Pride Center training is an important step in advancing our efforts to embed equity and inclusion in City policies and practices.”

Training program topics include:

  • Creating a foundation of 2-SLGBTQIA+ terminology
  • Learning from past mistakes
  • Practicum regarding misgendering/the use of gender-neutral language
  • The impact of discrimination and othering on marginalized populations
  • Awareness of oppression and microaggressions
  • Practicum regarding inclusivity in emergency situations
  • Best practices in de-escalation and crisis management situation involving LGBTQIA+ individuals

“This partnership with the Grand Rapids Pride Center is a great opportunity to continue to build great relationships between our public safety officers and our 2-SLGBTQIA+ communities,” said Brandon Davis, director of the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability. “By providing these tools for better understanding and clearer communication, we can continue to build trust and feelings of safety with all members of our community.”

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