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Diversity Training: TPS Shares LGBT Issues

Tolerance and acceptance of the distinct cultures and groups that make up our communities is an important part of Canada's national identity. Apart from the wider community, however, these groups are often faced with unique issues and challenges. For police, enhanced awareness of these issues is key to communicating and interacting with these groups in an informed and respectful manner.

As Canada's largest municipal police service in one of the country's most diverse cities, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) is particularly responsive to the need for diversity training for its officers. Recently, TPS, in association with the Toronto Women's Bathhouse Committee and other community partners created the LGBT Issues e-learning course. Highlighting concerns and issues specific to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community, this course provides valuable information to assist officers effectively execute their duties within this community. Recognizing the value of this information for other services, TPS has generously agreed to share this course with the Canadian police sector at large through the CPKN online learning portal.

"As Canada's largest urban area, Toronto is an epicenter for diversity," says Superintendant Darren Smith, head of the Training and Education Unit at the TPS and a subject matter expert for this course. "But we also recognize that, to varying degrees, jurisdictions across the country are dealing with the same issues and needs within their communities. We believe that sharing experience-based knowledge through a network like CPKN benefits not only other police personnel but also these same communities."

Using video and a variety of interactive exercises, the one hour LGBT Issues course identifies common terms used in the LGBT and trans community and describes the differences and similarities of domestic related investigations between the LGBT and straight communities. It also addresses the challenges of conducting searches of "trans" persons who have been arrested.

This is the second training course that TPS has distributed via CPKN. Earlier this summer, Characteristics of an Armed Person was made available to all members of the Ontario Police Video Training Alliance (OPVTA). Recently, OPVTA has granted access to this course for all police officers.

For more information about either of these courses, please visit CPKN course catalogue.