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Tucson Police expands ‘Safe Place’ program

TUCSON – LGBTQ activist, Sam Cloud is a native Tucsonan.

“Fear is something that our community experiences on a daily basis,” Cloud said.

Cloud is the president of Tucson Pride. She applauds the Tucson Police Department’s decision to adopt the Safe Place Program from the Seattle Police Department, giving LGBTQ crime victims visible safe havens in their city.

Those safe havens here include various business on Fourth Avenue and Downtown.

TPD is now expanding Safe Place to any victim of any hate crime.

The department is training officers and employees who work at businesses that participate in the program to make victims feel more comfortable when they seek help.

“It lets everybody know that no one is going to go unrepresented,” Det. Dana Davis-Richardson said. “Anybody that’s been victimized for bias reasons or anything that’s under the hate crime umbrella, they’re encouraged to come forward and make reports and we’re going to listen to them.”

Cloud argues the program helps some people feel more accepted and a little less afraid.

“We’re people too,” she said. “We’re just like everyone else, we have families, we have jobs, we deserve the same rights and we deserve to not live in fear.”

Eric Fink

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