Grand Forks Police launch Safe Place initiative
GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Grand Forks Police Department is launching a Safe Place initiative, where people can report hate crimes at a neutral place. They say it is also a way for people in a domestic violence situation to reach out to police.
The department says the goal is to form an active collaboration between the police, businesses, social organizations and schools. Safe Place has been adopted by more than 275 law enforcement jurisdictions throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.
The program is for all hate crimes which include: Race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, mental, physical, or sensory disabilities, homelessness, marital status, political ideology, age, or parental status.
“You will be heard, you will be treated with care, dignity and respect from the business you enter to find help in, as well as from the officers who respond to investigate,” the Grand Forks Police Department wrote on their website.
Safe Place has also found to be useful to those who are victims of domestic assault, assault, or other crimes that have occurred prior. Police say it sets up places people would naturally be and feel comfortable in to report crimes safely.
Any business can become a Safe Place. Grand Forks Police say it’s free and simple, they just need to train and educate employees, staff and management to do two things:
- If a victim of any crime (especially a hate crime) enters your premises, call 911 immediately.
- Allow the victim to remain on your promise until police arrive.
If the victim leaves prior to police arrival, call back 911 and provide a physical description of the victim and/or suspect(s), direction of travel and any injuries that you may have observed. As with any emergency situation your staff should use due care & caution when providing the victims of crime safe shelter, while being mindful of the safety of your patrons, co-workers and compliance with existing company policies.
If you’d like to become a Safe Place participant, email Officer Brian Samson at email@example.com and a decal will be delivered to put on the main entrance of the business.
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