July 30, 2013

PALM SPRINGS - In an effort to prevent discrimination, the Palm Springs Police Department has adopted a new policy on how officers will interact with transgendered people on the job. It's the first of its kind in the Coachella Valley.

"The Palm Springs Police Department works with a diverse community. The guidelines were created to ensure the appropriate treatment of transgender individuals," said Sargeant Harvey Reed.

Under the new section on the police manual, transgender is defined as "a person whose gender identity is different from the person's assigned sex at birth. A transgender can be pre-operative, post-operative or non-operative." 

When a transgendered person gets stopped by police, the officer will have to respect his or her expressed gender and not question it. Any information obtained about an individual's transgender status will be documented. In field searches and pat-downs, a transgendered person has the option to be searched by either a female or male officer. The officer than has to comply as long as it doesn't risk the officer's safety.