Two reports have come out recently about the Little Rock Police Department (LRPD).
One came from LawStreetMedia.com, which said that Arkansas is the most dangerous small city in America; the other came from the left-wing Human Rights Campaign, which gave Little Rock low marks for LGQBT friendliness.
It was revealing (in a bad way) which report the Little Rock Police Department seemed most eager to respond to.
The LRPD held a press conference yesterday announcing their new “transgender policy”; they’ve completely ignored the study that shows their failure to ensure public safety. Last time I checked, the latter was the primary job of the police, not the former.
On a grading scale of zero to 100, Little Rock has a failing score of 13 when it comes to its interactions with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. This was a rating the city’s police chief was aware before it was released. On Wednesday, he announced new policies to help raise that number.
According to Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) chief, Kenton Buckner, the department had been working on new policies before the report by the Human Rights Campaign was released.
In a media conference, Chief Buckner said he saw how other cities established good rapport with transgender people through implementation of policies that protected them fairly. He said he knew Little Rock needed to adopt the policies and believed they would help gain the transgender community’s trust.
“It is extremely important that it comes from my desk to show the level of importance that we show this and that it is genuine,” Chief Buckner said.
It’s hard to understand why this relatively minor issue now has the “level of importance” that it does, given the high crime rates of Little Rock. The LRPD press conference seems to be another example of an alarming trend: state and local officials making public declarations about esoteric social issues that have little to do with their jobs. For instance, last summer Arkansas’s soon-to-be former Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) chief, Grant Tennille, announced that “allowing gay marriage could be an economic boost for the state.” He didn’t bother to show any proof that this was the case; it was later revealed that he didn’t have any.
More recently, the Fayetteville City Council passed a misnamed “anti-discrimination” ordinance that would allow city bureaucrats to ensure that private citizens would conduct their business in a manner that is sufficiently politically correct. I’m sure there are more pressing matters for a city council of a major city in Arkansas to deliberate over.
The details of the LRPD “transgender” policy are:
The order, G.O. 327, establishes departmental guidelines for the appropriate treatment of transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming (TIGN) individuals who come into contact with members of LRPD. It also states LRPD employees should interact with all diverse communities, including the transgender community, professionally and respectfully.
The three-page policy states transgender related definitions employees must familiarize themselves with such as cross-dresser, gender, Female-to-Male (FTM), Male-to-Female (MTF) and transsexual.
It asks that LRPD employees address transgender individuals by their adopted names, not use demeaning, derogatory or disrespectful language aimed at a person’s actual or perceived gender identity, expression or sexual orientation.
In regards to calls for service, Buckner stated the policy required employees to respond to called-in complaints the same way they would investigate any other situation.
If it was possible, Buckner said a transgender person needed to be transported alone when going to jail or prison.
In the case of searching a transgender individual, that person may request the gender of the inspecting officer. The policy also covered which facilities to assign transgender officials when going to jail or prison.
So while violent crime in Little Rock was skyrocketing, Police Chief Kenton Buckner spent “months” preparing a “transgender” policy, so that LRPD employees can spend time “familiarizing themselves” with various transgender terminology. What a great use of taxpayer resources!