Community Relations Class 2016:Outline Paper

My Community Relations class requires an outline on the dynamics between multicultural communities and law enforcement. A long list of options was provided and my choice of research is in the format below.

Heidi Huish

Outline for AJ 103

  1. Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Issues in Policing
  2. This outline will discuss the positive and negative relations between: transgender civilians with police departments and transgender law enforcement employees with management. Lastly, it will conclude with my opinion on this topic along with some personal experiences.
  3. Firstly, law enforcement officers in the past have not properly handled hate-crimes toward transgender civilians and are implementing laws to improve their procedures. Secondly, law enforcement employs people of transgender into a wide variety of positions. The challenges surrounding their employment need proper management and TCOPS is an organization supporting transgender to ensure a positive future.
    • An article on the FBI’s website, Law Enforcement and Transgender Communities, discusses law enforcement’s lack of appropriate treatment on cases with people of transgender. An example case was about Brandon, a transman (female transitioned to male) being assaulted and raped by acquaintances. Brandon reported the incident to local law enforcement and told them he was afraid the perpetrators would come after him again. The sheriff was crude and dehumanizing during Brandon’s report, didn’t provide him protection and the perpetrators went unpunished. In 1993 Brandon and two other people were murdered in his home by the same perpetrators. With the help of research, training, and community support, law enforcement procedures have improved regarding victims of sexual assault and people of transgender. A few written improvements are: U.S courts of appeals consider transgender discrimination to be “sex discrimination”. Directive 152 is implemented by the Philadelphia Police Department and requires their officers to use appropriate language, such as preferred pronouns, when talking with transgender individuals. This directive also allows transgender arrestees to be referred to by their preferred name and gender. Another improvement started in 2007, when Washington, D.C Metropolitan Police Department implemented the General Order PCA 501-02. This policy has extensive definitions and procedures, but one example is the requirement of transgender juvenile offenders to be granted medical attention, and allowed their hormone therapy.
    • When a transgender law enforcement employee is transitioning, it becomes a challenge for management. Thorough education and training is important to effectively equip them with the right skill-sets. Navigating work issues may encompass presumable contentious issues: name change on credentials and documents, addressing grooming standards and their presentation at work. Also, safe boundaries need clarified regarding restroom and locker room access. A peer support network identified as TCOPS (Transgender Community of Police and Sheriffs), consists of a variety of transgender law enforcement employees such as officers, detectives, forensic scientists, crime scene technicians, military etc. TCOPS’ plan is to integrate their network into a non-profit organization to help advance transgender’s employee rights.
  4. In conclusion, my opinion originates from personal experience and extends from legitimate online resources. I think it is best to respect all individuals and segments of society while not discriminating them from equal rights and opportunities. Throughout the last 20 years our society has improved the treatment towards members of the LGBT community and decreased hindering their rights.
    • While growing up in Utah, I had very little information about the LGBT community in the 80’s and early 90’s. Reasoning was partly due to time-period, culture, and my religion. I was part of the ‘hindering segment’ of society who needed to be educated and allow self-reflection. Since my senior year in high school I have been blessed with friends and co-workers who identify as gay or lesbian. My care for them motivates me to continue learning and lending my support through love. I have a trans-sister-in-law living in Seattle. She is in her 40’s and transitioning to female. My husband and I love and support her. We view her as a caring family member, a dedicated parent, a spiritual Hindu, and a person making positive contributions to society. When she came out as transgender to family, I was obsessed… or was it distressed? Either way, it motivated me to learn more about gender dysphoria. My research brought me closer to her and more certain to be an advocate. Many LGBT people experience negative hardships from different imposing factors that other segments of society aren’t faced with. It is easy to remain stagnant in helping their community when there is minimal personal connection. However, when LGBT people lack positive support, it may be the changing influence for them to act on suicide. As hard as life is, it is a gift and blessing; we need to do all we can to help individuals choose life. Currently Salt Lake City has a large LGBT community and improvements are implemented to support their rights.
    • As time proceeds, I foresee law enforcement continuing to make improvements in serving LGBT communities and building positive relationships. An incident happened on November 17, 2016 in the San Diego LGBT community that revealed how some members still distrust law enforcement officers. A transgender cop named Christine Garcia, helped plan and escorted the Transgender Day of Remembrance march. When the march was over, Marcia was denied entrance to the remainder festivities because she was in uniform. The incident created a platform where the two cultures came together to clarify how law enforcement has improved. Nicole Murray-Ramirez, the City Commissioner and LGBT activist, issued an apology and said law enforcement officers are always welcome into the community.

Just for the heck of it, here are some pics from our northwest trip back in 2002

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Administrative Justice Class: Largest Crime Scene in American History

It is the third semester of being back in college and feel impressed to share a recent assignment from my Criminal Justice Class. We recently watched a few video clips about the 911 terrorist attacks back in 2001. My professor is a retired lieutenant of the NYPD and was on site where the World Trade Centers collapsed. He allowed us to view some footage of the wreckage that was given special to his department for a type of memoir. After watching the clips we were then instructed to write a one page paper on what we learned in class that day.

The Attack on 9/11: Information Not Everyone May Know


Most history taught in schools are perceived as events long past, and most crimes in news are broadcast shortly after they occur. The terrorist attacks in Manhattan on September 11, 2001 welded history and crime together as the Twin Towers fell. The World Trade Centers were a historic icon for capitalism and freedom which fumed the grand crime by the Al-Qaeda terrorist group.

Watching the documents about 911 in class left me reflecting on what was going on in my life at the time. Utah, the state I was residing in, was making its preparations to have the 2002 Winter Olympics. The day the towers came down I went to work as a receptionist at a Foot and Ankle clinic in Salt Lake City. Tuesdays were normally busy because there were two doctors working in the office, but on this day it was slow and somber. That night I went to massage school and some of us sat there in an empty class room wondering if the teacher would show up. Writing this paper has made me more aware that 911 has become history. However, the people who were more intimately affected may still feel as though it shortly occurred.

Here are 8 facts mentioned in class about the attacks that I wasn’t aware of or I found most interesting: 1) Large dump trucks transported debris off the crime scene to a landfill on Staten Island where it could be sifted through and used as evidence. 2) Workers on the crime scene were told after a couple of weeks they could remove their face masks. However, this wasn’t a good idea because now there has been thousands of cases with people having lung cancer and other illnesses due to the fumes. 3) The towers went 7 stories below ground where shops and eateries were also located. The explosion effected this area and caused fires to burn underground for over a year. 4) The destruction covered 16 acres of land. The deaths of 2400 civilians, 343 firefighter made this the largest American crime scene. 5) A St Paul’s church remained untouched in the middle of the 16 acres and was a place of refuge where workers could go and eat. 6) 200 people jumped out of the buildings which sounded like a mini earthquake. The people who survived said they jumped so their bodies could be identified by loved ones. 7) Divorce rates, alcoholism and prescription drug use increased after this event. Lastly, the 8th most significant piece of new information was the Boat-Lift which was the worlds’ largest sea evacuation; saving ½ million victims in 9 hours. The rescue wasn’t planned, nor were people formally trained; it was steered by people governing themselves with their moral guide. The Al-Qaeda terrorist group took much from America that day, but they didn’t take its humanity.

What I didn’t include in my paper was the story of Stephen Siller or also known as the Tunnel to Towers Foundations. Stephen’s Story