St. Paul PD rolls out policy to improve police relations with trans community

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For the first time in a public setting, St. Paul Police rolled out a proposed policy on officer interactions with those who are transgender and gender non-conforming.

On Tuesday, Commander Stacey Murphy fielded questions on the policy, which is the first of its kind in St. Paul.

“We just want to have respect for everyone; trusted service with respect is huge for our department and that’s what we try to do for all of our interactions. This is just one more way to deliver that trusted service with respect,” said Commander Stacey Murphy.

Some procedures in the policy include addressing individuals by using preferred pronouns and providing people with restrooms that correspond to their gender identity. Additionally, individuals cannot be stopped, detained, frisked or searched for the purpose of determining their gender.

“We always have room for improvement and room to do better, so that’s what we’re hoping, that this policy will help us to get better,” Commander Murphy said.

“When you can’t call the cops, who do you call? Who do you go to when you can’t rely on the city to protect you?” resident Nevre Anderson said.

Anderson, 21, shared her an unpleasant experience with authorities and said that when it comes to the police, there’s a history of distrust in the trans community.

“A lot of people are still experiencing that and still suffering at the hands of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. There’s been a lot of mistreatment in the past and it’s still going on,” Anderson said.

The St. Paul Police Department will continue to take in community feedback. If a final draft is approved, officer training could begin as soon as this fall.

“It’s something to help us be better in the future,” Commander Murphy said.

Anderson said that while she thinks it will be a long and complex process, “this is a good step in that process.”