The Bellevue Police Department (BPD) Safe Place program now has over 60 businesses, schools, and organizations offering a safe and secure place for victims of hate crimes. Although Bellevue enjoys a low rate of violent crime, discrimination and crime related to the city’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) residents and visitors still occur. These locations throughout the city display the Safe Place signage and offer a place for anyone to seek help who feels they’ve been a victim of bias-related crimes.
While the rainbow flag traditionally means LGBTQ+, a BPD Safe Place is open to any victim of a bias-related crime or harassment. “These locations are for anyone in any marginalized group that is a victim of a hate crime or harassment,” says Officer Molly McCormack the BPD Safe Place Program Administrator. “Our goal is to reduce bullying, harassment, and violent hate crimes and to encourage the reporting of them.”
The BPD Safe Place partner organizations work closely with the Bellevue Police Department to offer assistance, such as calling 911, and protection for victims. The program is open to businesses, places of worship, schools, and community buildings. More information is available online, www.bpdsafeplace.com.
The Bellevue Police Department will also participate in the 45th annual Seattle Pride Parade later this month. The parade will travel along 4th Avenue in Downtown Seattle on June 30. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. and will last about 4 hours.