All New Jersey law enforcement officers now must conform to the state's new transgender guidelines, which compel officers — among other things — to conduct body searches based on a person's gender identity "regardless of the gender that individual was assigned at birth and/or their anatomical characteristics," the Burlington County Times reported.
The LGBTQ Equity Directive — rolled out Wednesday by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal — also instructs officers to use a people's chosen names and pronouns, even if either differs from official records, the paper said.
"No one should be afraid about interacting with police because of their sexual orientation or their gender identity," Grewal said in a statement, the Times noted. "Building on the extraordinary work of law enforcement agencies across this country and right here in New Jersey, we're ensuring that our officers will act in ways that promote the dignity and safety of LGBTQ individuals, whether they are victims, witnesses, suspects, arrestees or other members of the public. Only by having the trust of our diverse communities can we fulfill our mission of protecting all New Jersey residents."
What else does the directive state?
The directive also says officers shouldn't stop, question, search, arrest, or detain persons because of actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation and shouldn't ask about their sexual practices or anatomy unless necessary for ongoing criminal investigations, the paper said.
New guidelines also say transgender individuals can choose whether they're transported or detained with other men or women and must be given access to private cells and restrooms if available, the Times reported, adding that they can't be forced to use private cells or restrooms, either.
It also says officers must avoid using terms and speech offensive to LGBTQ communities, the paper noted.
Here's Grewal discussing the LGBTQ Equity Directive:
LGBTQ+ Directive - Attorney General Grewal youtu.be
(H/T: Blue Lives Matter)