Safe Places Come To Denver, Offer Shelter

By Jennifer Brice

DENVER (CBS4)– Denver city leaders and members of the LGBTQ community announced the Safe Place program on Thursday. A safe place is a business that will provide shelter to someone who is being harassed, threatened, or attacked, especially someone who is of the LGBTQ community, while waiting for officers to arrive.safe haven city 5pkg frame 56 Safe Places Come To Denver, Offer Shelter

Any participating businesses will receive training on how to help a person in need and a sticker identifying the facility as a safe place.

The program began in Seattle about two years ago. It is now part of dozens of police departments, including Denver.safe haven city 5pkg frame 176 Safe Places Come To Denver, Offer Shelter

Denver police has its first ever LGBTQ liaison, Lieutenant Michael Wyatt, who says since he’s been in the role he’s learned there are plenty of LGBTQ hate crimes happening in the city.

“There were incidents occurring in Denver where members of the LGBTQ community were being harassed, intimidated and downright assaulted and many of those not coming to the police department attention and that is wrong.”

safe haven city 5pkg frame 790 Safe Places Come To Denver, Offer Shelter

Denver Police Lt. Michael Wyatt (credit: CBS)

The businesses who chose to be a “safe place” will also train their employees on how to help a person in need.

Officers say, in many cases, hate crimes are often not reported and they want people to feel safe enough to come forward. Denver Police Chief Robert White hopes to change that.safe haven city 5pkg frame 266 Safe Places Come To Denver, Offer Shelter

“The fact that they (LGBTQ) as a community have expressed a concern and done it over, and over again… We had a responsibility to do something,” said White.

Recently, the City of Denver also launched a safe haven program young people connected to gangs. When there is a gang-related crime, the nearest church is “activated” for three days for people to get emotional and mental wellness support. More than 20 churches have signed up for the program.safe haven city 5pkg frame 340 Safe Places Come To Denver, Offer Shelter

Jennifer Brice is a reporter with CBS4 focusing on crime and courts. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @CBS4Jenn.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

ROCKY FLATS: COLORADO'S NUCLEAR SHADOW
CBS4 INVESTIGATES
Send A News Tip

Watch & Listen LIVE