FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John RCMP is launching a new anti-hate crime program in support of the LGBTQ+ community in the Energetic City.
Cpl. Steven Francoeur said that the local RCMP detachment will be starting a Safe Place program in Fort St. John after the program was launched by the Vancouver Police Department ahead of that city’s Pride Festival two years ago.
Cpl. Francoeur explained that the Safe Place program offers anyone who feels they are in an unsafe environment a place where they will be welcomed and are able to call the police and wait for officers to arrive.
Local businesses and organizations are able to participate by placing a decal in their window that clearly identifies the premise as a safe haven and ally for members of the LGBTQ community.
In January, Prince Rupert became the first community in Canada with an RCMP-led Safe Place program, and other detachments across B.C. have followed suit.
Cpl. Francoeur said that to his knowledge, Fort St. John is the first community in Northeast B.C. to launch the program.
Any businesses or organizations can sign up to participate in the Safe Place program by calling Cpl. Francoeur at the Fort St. John RCMP detachment at (250) 787-8100, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
With files from The Vancouver Sun and CBC News.