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Houston Police Officers Will Take Training On LGBTQ Terminology

Equality Texas and the Montrose Center have developed the training and Houston Police Department’s Chief Art Acevedo hopes it will help the concept of ‘relational policing’

From left to right: Jessica Zyrie, clinical case manager at the Montrose Center; Lou Weaver, transgender programs coordinator at Equality Texas; HPD officer E. J. Joseph; Chuck Smith, CEO of Equality Texas; HPD chief Art Acevedo; and Kent Loftin, chief development officer at the Montrose Center, pose together during the April 11, 2018, press conference where Acevedo announced a training on LGBTQ terminology for HPD officers.

Chief Art Acevedo said Wednesday Houston Police Department’s (HPD) officers will take a training on the terminology that should be used when they deal with members of Houston's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community.

During a press conference held at the Houston Police Department's headquarters, Jessica Zyrie, clinical case manager at the Montrose Center, explained her organization –along with Equality Texas— have developed the training and underlined one of the main goals is to “eliminate misunderstanding of the community.”

The Montrose Center operates a shelter for victims of LGBTQ domestic violence.

Acevedo noted that working on investigations involving the LGBTQ community is still “challenging” for HPD in some cases –particularly regarding incidents that involve domestic violence in same sex couples— because some victims are afraid of reporting such violence due to fear of bias and discrimination against them.

The HPD chief also commented he hopes the training will reinforce the concept of “relational policing,” which he has made one of the cornerstones of his administration.

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