Photo by Monivette Cordeiro
The Orlando Police Department is launching an initiative to help keep the LGBTQ community safer.
The "Safe Place" initiative provides rainbow decals and signage to City of Orlando buildings, local businesses and other organizations to show they are a safe place for the queer community to go if they are the victims of crime or feel threatened.
Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan says as a member of the LGBTQ community, she's really never felt secure.
"I always thought that my personal safety was going to be compromised, and I honestly thought I would be a victim of violence," she says at the GLBT Center of Central Florida. "There are those who will victimize us for who we are. There are those who will attack us for who we are, and offering us a safe space does not take anything away from anyone."
Orlando Police Chief John Mina says the program is modeled after a similar program from the Seattle Police Department. Mina says LGBTQ people who see the sign can go inside the safe business to call 911 or have someone call police on their behalf.