After Community Outcry, Atlanta Police To Rewrite Transgender Policies | WABE 90.1 FM

After Community Outcry, Atlanta Police To Rewrite Transgender Policies

Jan 16, 2015

Officer Eric King, LGBT liaison with the Atlanta Police Department, says he'll work with the transgender community to come up with new guidelines for officers.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE

The Atlanta Police Department says it’ll change its recently-implemented transgender policies, after meeting with members of the transgender community Thursday night. 

In November, Atlanta police implemented guidelines on how officers should interact with transgender individuals during stops, searches and arrests – such as addressing a person by their preferred name, and allowing people to searched by an officer of the same gender.

But in a packed room of about 60 people at the Phillip Rush Center, residents said they were disappointed in the standard operating procedures – or "SOP’s" -- because there was no input from transgender citizens.

“The only thing I’m gathering is that the SOP’s is for the community but it wasn’t done by the community,” said one attendee.

“Standard operating procedures are something we can write tomorrow,” replied Deputy Chief Joseph Spillane.

At the end of the night, members of the police department agreed to rewrite the standard operating procedures.  

Officer Eric King, one of APD’s two LGBT liaisons said he was pleased with how the meeting went.

“We have to start communication somewhere, and today was that first step,” King said.

He said he will form a coalition with the transgender community to work on the new guidelines in coming weeks.