SEATTLE - The Seattle Police Department unveiled a transgender training video Thursday to help ensure officers treat members of the community with dignity and respect during interactions, whether they are victims of a crime or suspects.
Transgender individuals living in Seattle helped develop the video and the policy, and the training video includes their personal stories.
"It makes us feel recognized," said Mac McGregor, who took part in the video.
McGregor remembers the time he was pulled over for having a taillight out. His drivers license didn't match his presentation.
"It's very scary because you don't know if this officer has prejudice, or any understanding of this, or thinks you're some kind of a fraud because you don't match your ID," he said.
The policy dictates that police officers will consider a person to be transgender if the person identifies themself as transgender. It also regulates the searches of transgender individuals and allows them to express a preference for the gender of the officer conducting the search.
"Remembering there are special needs when going along with an arrest or dealing with victims," said Officer Jim Ritter.
Some believe the new policy will change a culture of distrust with police.
"A trans person may be in danger, or may be experiencing a discrimination case, or being physically or verbally assault," said Rihanna Quigley, who also gave her personal testimony in the video. "In those cases, the trans person will keep silent."
Mayor Ed Murray signed his executive order mandating transgender training for city employees. The training will focus on how employees should deal with transgender individuals on the front lines, from the library to city parks.