The Kelowna Pride Society said they are “disappointed” and “concerned” about the lack of community consultation with regards to the RCMP’s Safe Place Program.
The project aims to give LGBT2Q+ community members who may be victims of crime, feeling unsafe or in distress to come into a building or business and have a safe shelter to wait for police assistance.
The society said they applaud the effort but dialogue and attention to detail are important in ensuring the well-being of marginalized communities such as the LGBT2Q+ and BIMPOC communities. The society said members didn’t even know about the initiative until it was made public through media reports.
“We have been able and willing to contribute to such initiatives to ensure effective, inclusive and safe program delivery and accountability,” the society said in a statement.
“Historically, the relationship between the RCMP and the LGBT2Q+ community has been tumultuous. This is why we are disappointed and concerned about the lack of community consultation which leaves us with many unanswered questions at this time.”
The society said they understand why the program is needed, but that consultation is necessary to ensure the impact of the project is positive and does not cause further trauma.
A list of questions for the Kelowna RCMP include topics addressing training for officers and approved organizations, recommended steps during a crisis, expected response time from RCMP, and more.
The Kelowna Pride Society is meeting with community members to discuss the topic on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
More information can be found on their Facebook page.
The Capital News has reached out to the Kelowna RCMP for comment.