A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)

Kelowna Pride, RCMP continue to work on ‘Safe Place Program’

A new committee has been formed to refine the ‘Safe Place Program’ created by the Kelowna RCMP

The Kelowna Pride Society continues to work with local law enforcement to offer members of the LGBTQ2S+ community places of refuge if they are ever in distress to await police arrival.

On Feb. 22, the Kelowna RCMP’s rollout of the ‘Safe Place Program’ was met with controversy. The Kelowna Pride Society expressed its disappointment in the program due to the lack of community inclusion in the program’s implementation. The RCMP recognized its misstep and apologized. Both parties agreed that in order to roll out the program effectively, it should have the input of the people it directly effects.

Since then, the Pride Society and RCMP have combined forces to determine the best way to accomplish their goals. A working group comprised of Pride Society board members, RCMP representatives and community members has met twice weekly to determine the best course of action.

“Many of the questions that were raised during Kelowna Pride’s townhall discussion on the program … especially those around the program’s authenticity and safety, have now been addressed by the working group,” said the Kelowna Pride Society in a release.

Other focuses that the group has discussed include:

• The extent of training provided to both the RCMP officers and businesses/organizations who sign up for the program

• Ways to evaluate, assess and sustain the program in the long term

• Opportunities to best support our LGBTQ2S+ community members

• The need for ongoing collaboration and relationship between the RCMP and the Pride community in Kelowna

While the Kelowna RCMP has put the program on pause for now, the working group’s main priority is to collaborate with the RCMP to have it running again. At present, there is no set relaunch date; however, the group aims to have the program implemented as soon as possible.

“As a group, we acknowledge that this will not be an easy venture, and we are not striving for perfection. However, we do believe that, together, programs such as these can exist without additional harm, while bringing positive changes to the LGBT2Q+ and BIMPOC communities,” said Fahmy Baharuddin, director of education and LGBT2Q+ youth initiative with the Kelowna Pride Society.

Click here to sign up if you are interested in being part of the working group.

READ MORE: Pride Society ‘disappointment’ with lack of consultation by RCMP on ‘Safe Place Program’

READ MORE: RCMP Apologizes to Kelowna’s LGBT+ community for ‘misstep’


@amandalinasnews
amandalina.letterio@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

PrideRCMP

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
Accessibility concerns raised as Kelowna ponders banning vehicles from Knox Mountain

Knox Mountain Drive, which leads to two lookouts, has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic began

Cops for Kids riders will be spinning 30 feet in the air on scissor lifts at SaveOn Foods locations in Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna Saturday, May 8, 2021. (File photo)
Cops reach new heights for Okanagan kids

Nor-Val Rentals is doing the heavy lifting Saturday in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kelowna OK Tire closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The business will remain closed until May 11

Most Read