Engaging and Building Relationships with Transgender Communities

Image of an individual holding the transgender pride flag

Getty Images

Engaging and Building Relationships with Transgender Communities

The U. S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) offers an Engaging and Building Relationships with Transgender Communities training program for law enforcement officers. This training is designed to help officers develop relationships and improve their interactions with transgender communities and individuals. The program aims to increase participants’ awareness and understanding of the civil rights-related issues impacting transgender individuals and communities, and provides strategies and best practices for improving communication and collaboration.

CRS offers two versions of this program:

  • In-person or virtual program: A four-hour training co-facilitated by subject matter experts from law enforcement and transgender communities.
  • A web-based (self-paced) program: A three-hour interactive training allows officers the flexibility and convenience to complete the course at their own pace.

Both versions cover the same topics and help officers develop an action plan to engage with their local transgender communities.

Program Overview

Building Awareness and Understanding

The program defines important terms and clarifies language related to transgender individuals and communities. This includes gender identity terms as well as acceptable language to use when speaking with, and referring to, transgender people.

Importance of Community Awareness

Through statistics and case studies, participants learn about issues impacting transgender communities and individuals, such as social and economic disparities, and high rates of violence and suicide. The program also discusses dynamics between law enforcement and transgender communities that can impact trust and communication.

Planning Community Engagement

Participants learn strategies and best practices to engage transgender communities and individuals, including the development of community outreach plans.

Program Goals

The program trains participants to:

  • Speak with and about transgender individuals and communities in a way that improves communication and enhances public and officer safety.
  • Understand the civil rights-related issues that impact transgender communities.
  • Identify misconceptions that impact the prevention of, and response to, hate crimes against transgender communities.
  • Use recommended tools, processes, and best practices to increase communication and improve relationships with transgender communities.
  • Develop components of a community engagement plan.

Case Highlights

More Information


Respecting Identity | Law Enforcement Training and the Transgender Community
Respecting Identity | Law Enforcement Training and the Transgender Community

November 29, 2016


Updated February 10, 2023

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?
Yes No