Dallas Police Department LGBTQ liaison Chelsea Geist announced she is bringing Seattle’s Safe Place program to Dallas.

The decal DPD designed will be available to businesses, organizations and schools through Officer Geist. The Safe Place program isn’t designed for residences.

According to Geist, the original concept was developed by the Seattle Police Department in 2015 to provide more protection to victims of hate crimes and bullying. The Safe Place logo is a trademarked logo and owned by the Seattle Police Department. The SPD has given permission to Dallas PD to use the logo and concept.

Dallas PD’s goal and purpose of the program is to educate the community and help victims of hate crimes and all crimes to report the crimes. The Safe Place program will help bring the LGBTQ community, the Dallas Police Department, local businesses, social organizations and even schools together to create a safe place and city for all.

The Safe Place program includes all hate crimes categories such as race, color, religion, gender, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, gender expression or identity, mental, physical, or sensory disabilities, homelessness, marital status, political ideology, age or parental status.

One goal of the program is to assure victims that Dallas Police take hate crime reporting seriously and to increase the confidence for victims to report crimes.

Hate crime victims will be treated with respect, dignity and care from the Safe Place locations and police officers.

There’s no cost to participate in the Safe Place program.

Any and all businesses can participate as long as the locations and employees/volunteers follow two requirements:

1. If a victim of any crime (especially a hate crime) enters your location, call 911 immediately.

2. Allow the victim to remain on your premise until police officers arrive on scene.

If the victim leaves before police arrive, call back 911 and provide a physical description of the victim(s) and/or suspect(s), direction of travel and any injuries that you may have observed. As with any emergency, use extreme caution when providing the victims of crime safe shelter, while being mindful of the safety of your employees, volunteers, patrons, and co-workers. There is no extra liability to your business as we are not asking you to do anything you would not if a victim needed help.

To participate, contact Officer Geist at Chelsea.geist@dallascityhall.com and provide your information. A decal will be delivered with additional information.

When you received the 4×6 decal place it at the main public entrance, about 5 feet above the ground and visible to individuals walking past the location.

“I hope to get this program up and running ASAP!” Geist said. “The only issue I am running into is funding.”

To make a donation, contact Geist at her Dallas City Hall email.

“I am so excited and hope this is a small step in the right direction,” she said.

— David Taffet