LAPD Drops Transgender Pat-Downs, Eyes Separate Detention Space

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Police on Friday signaled a department-wide shift in its treatment of transgender people both on the street and behind bars, including a reported plan to provide hormone treatments to transgender detainees.

Arrested transgender men and women will be housed in a separate section of the Los Angeles Police Department’s downtown Metropolitan Detention Center by the end of the month, according to a report published Friday.

LAPD jail division commander Capt. Dave Lindsay announced the move Thursday night at a meeting of transgender people in West Hollywood that was also attended by police Chief Charlie Beck and members of the city’s Police Commission, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Lindsay said the separate section for as many as 24 people will be in a new women’s jail module due to open at the detention center, according to the Times, which quoted him as saying “there’s been a history of violence” against jailed transgender people.

The Metropolitan Detention Center typically houses detainees for up to three days as they await arraignment after being arrested, the report notes.

After arraignment, they are transferred to the Los Angeles County Jail, which is run by the Sheriff’s Department and doesn’t have a segregated area for transgender people.

Lindsay said male or female clothes and medical care, including hormone treatments, will be available to the section’s transgender detainees, according to the Times.

The policy shift comes as the LAPD also announced it would no longer allow officers to pat down a transgendered person in order to determine their gender.

Beck said officers will instead have to rely on a transgendered person’s clothing, language or demeanor to determine how to address the individual.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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