A new policy adopted by the El Paso police department will require officers to ask individuals for their preferred names, pronouns, and gender identity.
The policy, called “Constitutional Policing,” was introduced in December 2023; however, it was not implemented until January 2024 and will require officers to ask every person they encounter, “How would you like to be referred to?”
The gender-inclusive policy was created with the help of the Borderland Rainbow Center, an “LGBTQ Community Center,” in El Paso, Texas, and exists so that LGBTQ “people and their allies can heal, grow, and empower themselves and others.” The director of the center, Amber Perez, told a local news station, “This is just the start.”
“The most important thing is that we can’t change the past,” Perez said. “[B]ut what we can do is take this first moment and run with it and continue the conversation and be able to speak to each other with respect.”
Officers will also be prevented from conducting a search to determine an individual’s biological sex, according to Fox 11. Police will be allowed to frisk suspects “as long as an officer can articulate why,” according to the local outlet. Additionally, the department will be required to create quarterly reports to document complaints of “bias-based policing.”
The new measure is reportedly meant to “better relations between authorities and transgender/gender diverse individuals,” according to the Washington Examiner.
The department has since received backlash online from social media users who believe the new policy will prevent officers from effectively policing the community.
“Language shouldn’t change for criminals. This will be abused, and society will suffer,” one user wrote. “How about they focus more on catching criminals than appeasing the left? Our cities are being ruined by criminals and cops only seem to care about preferred pronouns and criminals’ gender identities. What a joke,” another said.
The city of El Paso has been a hotbed of illegal immigration over the past three years, placing a significant strain on the community and its resources. Customs and Border Protection officials report an average of 1,500 to 2,000 migrant encounters daily in the El Paso sector along the U.S.-Mexico border. Some residents have expressed concerns online that the police department appears to be concerned with “virtue signaling” rather than the safety of those living in El Paso.
This piece first appeared at TPUSA.