LGBTQ Safe Place

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What is the Safe Place Initiative?

The City of Orlando and the Orlando Police Department are committed to the safety of all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/ Questioning (LGBTQ) residents and visitors.

The mission of the OPD Safe Place Initiative is to provide the LGBTQ community with easily accessible safety information and safe places throughout the city they can turn to if they are the victims of crime.

Through the Safe Place Initiative, OPD will provide decals to City facilities, local businesses and other organizations for those entities to post as a symbol of safety for the victims of LGBTQ crime.  

Anyone who seeks solace in a Safe Place location can be assured that if they are the victim of a crime, police will promptly be called. In addition to the 911 police response to these incidents, OPD has a LGBTQ liaison officer, Lt. Jim Young, who has built partnerships within the LGBTQ community and is a resource for any questions or concerns our residents or visitors might have.

Participate in Safe Place

Fill out this form to request a decal to display. This symbol carries some important responsibilities that will greatly assist in protecting LGBTQ victims of crime.

LGBTQ victims will recognize that the Safe Place symbol indicates your business or organization is willing to assist them. By registering as a Safe Place in the City of Orlando, you agree to:

  • Apply the Safe Place decal outside the front entrance of your establishment.  
  • Allow victims to enter and remain at your premise until Orlando Police arrive.
  • Call, or assist these victims in calling 911.

Reporting LGBTQ Crimes

If you are a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) victim of, or witness to a crime, please report the incident to the police, either during, or immediately after it occurs by calling 911.

The 911 operator needs quick and concise information, such as:

  • Your injuries: 911 Operator will call medics while talking with you.
  • The specifics of the crime: What happened?
  • What was said: Tell the 911 operator and the responding officer if the suspect(s) used words to indicate a hate crime.
  • If there was a weapon involved: Describe it as a gun, knife, etc.
  • Description of suspects: Age, race, height, weight and clothing description of the suspect(s)
  • Any unusual characteristics: Scars, marks, tattoos, piercings, speech, etc.
  • Suspect vehicle description: Color, make, model, vehicle license
  • Direction of travel: Which way did they flee?

Even if you think the crime is insignificant, or that you don’t want to bother the police over small issues, reporting crimes quickly allows the Orlando Police Department to:

  • Respond immediately to the scene to prevent further harm to you or others.
  • Collect evidence that could be destroyed if not discovered and collected quickly.
  • Interview witnesses who may otherwise be gone if you delay your call to 911.
  • Apprehend the suspect(s) quickly so they do not continue to victimize others.
  • Determine if the suspect(s) are engaged in a pattern of previous and/or ongoing behavior that threatens the community.
  • Increase community awareness of criminal activity in the area through media notification & alerts.
  • Develop solutions and/or deterrents to reduce the crime by adding patrols to the area.

PLEASE NOTE: Someone calling you a derogatory name is not a crime.  It is constitutionally protected free speech.  If the comments are accompanied by threats, threatening behavior, or physical harm, it then becomes a crime.

Safety Tips

Partying

  • When leaving a party or a bar, travel in groups. Criminals will focus on lone pedestrians.
  • Don’t get in a stranger’s car.
  • Call a cab, sober friend or family member to take you home. DUI’s are dangerous to everyone, and they cost a lot of money.

Meeting people online or through dating apps

  • If you meet someone, tell your friends where you’re going and describe the person you’re with.
  • Don’t volunteer any of your personal information (date of birth, address, etc.).
  • Meet your date in a public place.
  • Try to find out as much about your date as possible.
  • If practical, record your date’s vehicle description and license plate number.
  • Save all of your e-mails and texts from the person you’re meeting.
  • If your date is making you uncomfortable, don’t worry about politeness. LEAVE!
  • If your date begins to stalk or harass you, tell them clearly to stop.  If they don’t, call 911.

Walking

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Try and walk in well-lit areas, with other people around.
  • Walk in groups, or with others nearby.
  • Don’t display or count your money where others can see you.
  • Conceal your technology (i-pads, cell phones, etc).
  • Be cautious when approached by strangers.
  • If confronted by someone, try not to verbally engage with them. Drugs, alcohol, or mental illness may be driving their behaviors so your safest course is to disengage and not escalate the situation.
  • If anyone attempts to rob you, either by threats or with a weapon, do not resist.  It is not worth risking your life or physical injury for the amount of money you will lose.

Driving

  • Practice defensive driving.
  • Don’t compete with other drivers.
  • Don’t engage in insults and/or gestures with other drivers.
  • Keep your distance from aggressive drivers.
  • Report aggressive driving to 911.

 

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