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

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Danny Fulton receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 27. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
All adults in Rutland, Summerland now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Province expands age range to 18+ for vaccinations in ‘high transmission’ areas

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Penticton RCMP search for 2 suspicious men

Police searching the area of Arawana Forest Service Road

The Penticton Vees concluded the shortened 2021 pod season Sunday, May 9 in winning fashion against the Cranbrook Bucks at the South Okanagan Events Centre. (Cheri Morgan photography)
VIDEO: Penticton Vees end pod season atop BCHL standings with 18 wins in 20 games

The Vees collected their 18th win of the season Sunday night against the Cranbrook Bucks

Dust control is underway this week in parts of Osoyoos. (Contributed)
Dust control work gets underway in Osoyoos, with a warning for pets

Pets should stay off the product for the first six hours after it is applied

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
UPDATE: Winfield road open following police, coroner investigation

Pelmewash Parkway closure near Highway 97 connection

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

RCMP (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
High-risk takedown on Highway 1 following Shuswap shooting

Upon further investigation, the vehicle and its occupants were not associated with the shooting

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read