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Police training module includes Rainbow communities



New Zealand Police introduces first of its kind Rainbow 101 Online Inclusion Training Module (Photo Supplied)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, April 19, 2023

New Zealand Police has launched the first-ever online rainbow community inclusion training, as we continue our journey to better serve the diverse communities in New Zealand.

Addressing the diverse needs and the changing times, the module is designed to provide all Police staff with valuable learnings on inclusivity and is the first of several training modules to improve knowledge and understanding among staff.

The Rainbow 101 training module is modelled after a similar training structure introduced at ACC. It features a video introduction with Senior Sergeant Rhona Stace, Senior Prevention Partnerships Advisor – Inclusion, who also happens to be Transgender.

The module covers inclusive language, pronouns, and terminology, and provides a brief overview of Rainbow communities. For frontline staff, there is a section on statement-taking and recording of names and genders that may differ from those on record, as well as a section covering same-sex relationships.

Since the voluntary training module’s launch in January 2023, around 1350 staff have already completed it. According to Sharon Johnston, who is the Lead for Community Inclusion, this represents just under 10% of all Police employees, which is a fantastic achievement.

Ms Johnston was employed in the position in July 2021, and with the support of Diversity Liaison Officers (DLOs) across the country as well as other allies, has seen Police take some big steps forward.

“I am very proud to be able to lead this programme of work, on the shoulders of the giants who came before me who I feel privileged to follow. As our the visibility of Rainbow communities grow, it is important that we respond to ensure our staff understand our Rainbow communities and improve how we interact and work with them.”

“We have undertaken some great transformation work in the past six months, and we know this is just the beginning. We want our Rainbow communities across Aotearoa to feel confident that they can approach the Police if they need to and know they will be listened to and supported.”

The launch of the Rainbow 101 training module marks a significant milestone in the Police’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in New Zealand.

The Police’s commitment to improving its staff’s knowledge and understanding of Rainbow communities is a crucial step in creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone.

Diversity Liaison Officers (DLOs) are located throughout New Zealand to provide liaison between Police and those in the community who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (Rainbow communities).

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

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