Philadelphia police have issued new guidelines on how officers should treat transgender people, a policy that department officials say is to ensure everyone is treated with respect.
Philadelphia Police Officer Christine O'Brien told NBC10 that the policy "focuses on making sure officers are professional in their interaction with transgender individuals and treat all people with the courtesy and dignity that they deserve as human beings."
The policy requires police to address transgender people by their chosen names, whether or not their chosen names are their legal names, and to include their chosen names on all police paperwork.
"The purpose is to make sure that we are respecting the rights of all people and to make sure we have a policy in place to ensure this," O'Brien said.
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The policy also gives transgender criminal suspects the right to request to be frisked by an officer whose gender is of their choosing, and the right to be transported and held in a cell separately from other detainees whenever possible.
According to O'Brien, Deputy Commissioner Kevin Bethel served as the department's Liaison with the LGBT community and worked closely with the group in the creation of the policy, along with the District Attorney's Office and Penn Behavioral Health.