TOWSON, MD—In an effort to further the Baltimore County Police Department’s commitment to the safety and welfare of all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA+) residents and visitors, BCoPD is launching a Safe Space Initiative.
Under the program, community members, businesses, schools, and organizations have the opportunity to visibly display a distinguishable “Safe Space” decal. The posted and easily identifiable signage will provide assurance to any victim of an LGBTQIA+ biased hate crime that the location is a safe space for someone to seek help, as police are contacted.
The Safe Space initiative aims to:
- Provide all LGBTQIA+ community members with a safe space they can turn to if they are the victims of crime.
- Further enhance the relationship between the Baltimore County Police Department and the LGBTQIA+ community.
Each participant in the Safe Space initiative will be provided with a distinguishable “Safe Space” decal, which will be posted and easily identifiable. Anyone who seeks help in a Safe Space can be assured, police will be promptly called.
REGISTER AS A SAFE SPACE
Safe Space decals (pictured below) are provided free of charge to anyone requesting to display one at their establishment. This symbol carries important responsibilities that will greatly assist in protecting LGBTQIA+ victims of crime. LGBTQIA+ victims will recognize that the Safe Space symbol indicates your business or organization is willing to assist them.
By registering as a Safe Space in Baltimore County, you agree to:
- Apply the Safe Space decal outside of the front entrance of your establishment
- Allow victims to enter and remain at your premises until police arrive
The Baltimore County Police Department has announced that Detective Jimmy Waites will serve as the first LGBTQIA+ Liaison, a position that has been created to reach and better serve the LGBTQIA+ community in Baltimore County. Prior to joining BCoPD, Detective Waites served 10 years in the United States Navy. He has more than 18 years of service with BCoPD. He began his career in our Wilkens Precinct and has also worked in CACU and Internal Affairs. Married to his husband Daniel, Detective Waites’ personal experience combined with his training and background make him a valuable resource to our members and the LGBTQIA+ community in Baltimore County, officials say.
The role of the liaison officer:
- To be available for private meetings with officers/department members and community groups
- Conduct scheduled Police Resource Inclusion Support Meetings (PRISM) with officers/department members and community groups
- Serve as a single point of contact between BCoPD and the LGBTQIA+ community
- Strengthen the relationship between the LGBTQIA+ community and BCoPD by creating mutual trust and confidence in police through community involvement, departmental education, and the provision of fair and professional policing services