Some NYPD officers still lack proper training on how to handle cases involving members of the LGBTQ community five years after revised protocol was issued, according to a Department of Investigation report released Tuesday.
According to DOI, only new recruits and recently-promoted sergeants and lieutenants within the NYPD underwent Patrol Guide policy training. For already existing officers, the training appears to be insufficient, the report said.
As per NYPD Patrol Guide policies, which were revised in 2012, police officers must accept the preferred names of transgender and gender nonconforming people during arrest procedures. They should consider them as “Special Category Prisoners” and hold them in a separate cell if there is any discernible threat to the arrestees, the report said.
Police officers are also prohibited from strip searching suspects for the sole purpose of determining their gender, using offensive language when referring to LGBTQ and TGNC groups, and keeping them chained to rails, bars or chairs for “extended” periods of time, per the report.
Only six of the department’s 77 precincts underwent the training between 2012 and 2016, according to the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.
The investigation also found that complaints by LGBTQ community members about alleged police bias went unaddressed by the department. While “profiling” and “offensive language” are categories for complaints, other unscrupulous behavior by police officers toward LGBTQ and TGNC groups is not tracked properly by the NYPD, per the report.
“Victims of crime and witnesses to crime who identify as LGBTQ will be more likely to work with law enforcement when the Patrol Guide changes are fully implemented throughout the entire force,” Philip K. Eure, DOI’s inspector general for the NYPD, said.
The issue was brought to the Department of Investigation’s attention through LGBTQ organizations, town hall meetings and at policing events, when community members reported that officers ignored gender identities, used anti-transgender slurs and refused to document crime reports from TGNC groups, according to the agency.
Investigators also found that transgender people of color were more commonly targeted by NYPD officers for prostitution, the report said.
“The NYPD’s protocols are an important step in making sure that the rights of all New Yorkers are protected and respected,” DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters said. “We must now make sure that all NYPD officers get full training and that the NYPD can fully track issues going forward.
DOI recommended the NYPD make the training mandatory for all officers and suggested the department provide plans to update existing forms with arrestees’ preferred names, as well as report patterns of complaints against officers to the police commissioner’s LGBT liaison.
The NYPD said it was reviewing the report and its recommendations.
“When the department has fully reviewed the report it will respond accordingly,” NYPD Lt. John Grimpel said in an emailed statement.