Police and Pride Fest Society working together to strengthen community ties

The Lethbridge Police Service and Lethbridge Pride Fest Society are committed to continuing to strengthen the relationship between the Police Service and LGBT2Q+ community and have been working closely the past six months in preparation for this week’s Pride celebration.

Working with the Society has helped foster a greater understanding and awareness of LGBT2Q+ issues and both organizations are looking forward to continuing to build on the strong foundation that has been established.

"The Lethbridge Police Service believes everyone has the right to be who they are and live their lives without fear or prejudice,” said Deputy Chief Scott Woods. “We support all the citizens we serve and will continue our efforts to build and maintain a safe and inclusive community."

Lethbridge Pride Fest Society has been pleased with the willingness to open and maintain a dialogue. “Recent events in Lethbridge have highlighted the importance of Pride, and why it is needed,” said Devon Hargreaves, Chair. “We’re pleased to be able to count on LPS as an ongoing ally in our mission to bring education and visibility to the LGBT2Q+ community.”

LPS will be involved in a number of Pride events, including the Flag Raising Ceremony this evening at City Hall and the Pride Parade June 24. Deputy Chief Scott Woods and a contingent of sworn and civilian police members will be marching in the parade, a police car will be specially decaled to celebrate the occasion and an LPS booth with a variety of information will be among the exhibitors in Galt Gardens. In addition, LPS is hosting the “Pride & Police BBQ” on Wednesday, June 21 from noon until 1:30 p.m. to bring together police staff and members of the LGBT2Q+ community.

The Lethbridge Police Service is always striving to ensure operations align with best practices in order to meet the needs of all the citizens we serve. Earlier this year, after a concern was brought to police attention, a comprehensive review of policy and procedures regarding transgender individuals was completed and a new policy – Interactions with Transgender Persons – was implemented. The policy includes information about gender identity terminology, the proper use of pronouns and awareness training to help officers better understand transgender issues and how police can best serve the transgender community.

LPS is committed to addressing any issues or challenges that may arise in future and encourage an open dialogue with all members of our community.