On June 4, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis issued SO 13-025, a Special Order outlining department guidelines for police contact with transgender individuals.
The Special Order states: “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.”
The order defines terms including “transgender,” “gender identity” and “gender expression” and states that the police should use the name and pronouns the transgender individual prefers; that search or frisk shall not be performed for the sole purpose of determining an individual’s anatomical sex; and that officers may not fail to respond to a call for service based on the gender identity or expression of the caller.
As part of the new guidelines, a Statement of Search Preference Form allows transgender individuals to request a female or a male police officer to conduct their searches.
Jesse Begenyi, Interim Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, commended the Boston Police Department for taking this important step to help make interactions between the police and members of the transgender community much safer.
“MTPC thanks Commissioner Davis, BPD LGBT liaison Javier Pagan, former MTPC executive director Gunner Scott, and everyone who worked to draft and implement this important policy,” Begenyi said. “We hope police departments statewide will adopt similar policies.”