Green Bay Police department get LGBTQ training for second year in a row

City employees were also included in this year’s training.
Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 9:47 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Green Bay Police Department and city employees are learning how to be sensitive to the needs of those in the LGBTQ community.

“When I started 19 years ago, this was not talked about, this was not even on the training plan for departments,” said Commander Kevin Warych of the police department.

This marks the second year the police department has partnered with UW-Green Bay’s Pride Center to learn about issues facing the LGBTQ community in an effort to better serve them.

“For the first time in a couple of years, students have been interested in staying here and working here. and that has made a major difference based on what’s happening in this community,” said Dr. Stacie Christian, director of inclusive excellence at the UW-GB Pride Center.

Implementing trainings like this one has also given the city a better score on the Municipal Equality Index, raising it from 28 in 2018 to 60 in 2020.

The index rates cities based on different social factors that make communities more welcoming.

“We have risen that score with our efforts here city wide, specifically for the police department by starting the pride team [in 2019], having a liaison and implementing a policy for transgender non-binary intersects contacts for law enforcement,” said Warych.

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There are still a number of issues the LGBTQ community is fighting for such as anti-crime and bullying legislation to protect gender identity.

“If someone is saying I’m purposefully going out and hurting you because you’re a lesbian, there’s laws in place for that, but if they say I’m going to hurt you because you’re transgender, there isn’t any hate crime law in that,” said Dr. Christian.

It’s also the first year employees at city hall were invited to attend the training.

“It’s great that the city and police department are working on community building and reaching out to marginalized communities to be more inclusive, be more considerate and be more compassionate,” said Rachel Maes, assistant city attorney.

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