The Pittsfield, Massachusetts Police Advisory and Review Board unanimously approved a new policy that aims to protect the rights of transgender people in interactions with law enforcement.
The policy instructs police officers to address transgender people by their chosen names. It also says they have the right to be searched by an officer of the same sex they identify as.
If they’re arrested, items like wigs or hairpieces will not be removed, and transgender people will be held in a cell alone for their safety.
“This really is important to the LGBTQ plus community to feel that they will be treated with respect and dignity and not traumatized," said Board member Drew Herzig. "A lot of transgender people don't go to doctors’ offices, they are afraid of falling into sort of into the hands of any sort of bureaucracy, where they will be ridiculed, misgendered, that sort of thing."
The new policy still must be finalized by the Pittsfield Police Department.