The Woodland Police Department and local businesses are teaming up to provide victims of bias or hate crimes a “Safe Place” to go.
“We want our community and anyone who visits Woodland to feel safe and supported,” said Chief of Police Derrek Kaff. “We are sending a very clear message that discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and religion will not be tolerated in the City of Woodland.”
A “Safe Place” is a business that will provide shelter to someone who is being harassed, threatened, or attacked. Participating businesses receive training on how to help a person in need and a sticker identifying the facility as a “Safe Place.” Those stickers will be placed in areas that are clearly visible to the public. The mission of the program is twofold. First, it lets patrons know where the business stands on bias and hate crimes. More importantly, it says to any victim that no matter their background or status they will be heard. They will be treated with care, dignity, and respect from the business they enter, as well as from the police officers who respond to investigate. The City of Woodland and the Woodland Police Department are dedicated to creating a welcoming environment for everyone.
“Safe Place” is authorized for both schools and businesses near schools. Schools may utilize the program to identify their campuses as a “Safe Place” for victims of bullying or hate crimes on site.
The Safe Place Program was created by the Seattle Police Department to start bridging the gap between hate crime victims and the police.
For more information on the program, please contact Woodland Police LGBTQ Liaison Deputy Chief Anthony Cucchi via email at Anthony.Cucchi@cityofwoodland.org. If you own a business and are interested in becoming a Safe Place, visit https://cityofwoodland.org/1361/Safe-Place-Hate-Crime-Reporting-Initiati.