Office of Citizen Complaints

Policy Recommendations

Subject: Questioning of Transgender Individuals

Recommendation: The Office of Citizen Complaints recommends that the San Francisco Police Department

(1) augment training at the Police Academy for both new recruits and experienced officers to provide guidance as to culturally competent language and behavior in the questioning and other treatment of persons who identify, or who are identified by officers, as transgender individuals; and,

(2) invite appropriate personnel from the City's Human Rights Commission, Community United Against Violence (CUAV) and other expert institutions to participate in training SFPD sworn personnel, pursuant to the above; and,

(3) standardize documentation as to transgender individuals in incident reports and other SFPD forms, to include, among other items, complete documentation for persons who use various (e.g., male and female) aliases.

Case Background:
Complainant, a self-identified transgender woman, was booked as a male. Complainant felt that the officer's language and attitude shown toward her were disrespectful of her gender identity. During OCC investigation, a supervising officer stated that he believed that officers would benefit from clarification of current training on documentation of transgender persons. OCC also has received information from several transgender individuals supporting this recommendation.

Investigated by: David Aulet, Investigator
Prepared by: RIVER G. ABEJE, Policy and Outreach Specialist
Approved by: MARY C. DUNLAP, Director
Date: December 11, 2000

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