Friday, March 24, 2023

Norfolk Police Promote Inclusion by Adopting Virginia’s First Transgender Policy

Norfolk Police have made a historic leap towards equality and fairness within the LGBTQ+ community with its first transgender policy.

The five-page general order, which outlines how officers will interact and address members of the transgender community, serves the department’s goals and commitment to treating all individuals with dignity and respect.

“I am excited to be the first law enforcement agency in Virginia to implement this policy,” said Chief Larry D. Boone. “What makes this even more special is that it was created in collaboration with our very own officers and Norfolk’s LGBTQ+ community. I can’t give you a better example of building trust and legitimacy.”

Norfolk Police Sgt. Craig Lovelace who serves as the liaison to the LGBTQ+ community was integral in creating this policy. “When I started my career in law enforcement 40 years ago, you wouldn’t dare mention or even hint at being gay,” said Lovelace. “The strides that Norfolk Police have made in the past three years toward diversity and inclusion have blown past traditional 21st century policing models. I am gay and I have no problem mentioning it among my co-workers and that’s a huge relief.”

The policy, titled “Interactions with Transgendered, Intersex, and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals” was approved by Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer on March 24, 2020 and has taken effect throughout the 700-officer department.

“I don’t want there to be any doubt,” said Chief Larry D. Boone. “Whether you live in Norfolk, or plan to travel to Norfolk, I want everyone to know that they are welcome and if for any reason you come in contact with one of my officers, you will be treated fairly with dignity and respect.”

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