G.R. City Partners with Pride Center For GR Police & Fire Training
This week the Grand Rapids City Commission approved a contract with the Grand Rapids Pride Center. The contract is for an in-person training program for sworn members of the Grand Rapids Police and Fire Departments. The goal is to build awareness of inclusive public safety practices.
“The city is hoping to expand the capacity and build awareness of inclusive public safety practices and recognize the affirm and show mutual respect for the 2-SLGBTQIA+ community.”
Brandon Davis is the director of the Office of Oversight and Public Accountability.
He says the new training program will provide an examination and understanding of the history of the relationship between law enforcement. As well as examine and understand the terminology, such as what 2-SLGBTQIA-plus means.
“And when we’re saying that, we’re really referring to individuals who identify as Two Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual and that plus sign is meant to include anyone else who is not included. But really what we’re working to do is to create a foundation related to terminology for the 2-SLGBTQIA-plus community and also learn from past mistakes.”
He says it will also seek to build trust based on better interactions between public safety and the 2-SLGBTQIA+ community.
“We’re hoping that this training will lead to a reduction in the impact of discrimination and othering the marginalized population and make sure that the police and fire department understand what that discrimination and that “othering” could actually lead to.”
This contract is aligned with the city’s strategic plan, specifically its commitment to equity and its priority of ensuring that all people feel safe and are safe at all times in our community.
Davis says the training should begin mid-month and wrap up by June.