An internal email from the St. Louis Park Police Department explains that the agency will be obtaining Pride ribbons, trans visibility ribbons and pronoun stickers for officers to wear.
The email, obtained by Alpha News, says the stickers and ribbons were provided by the city’s LGTBQ Employee Resource Group (ERG).
“I’ll be receiving Pride Ribbons, Trans visibility ribbons and pronouns stickers from the LGBTQ ERG today and will make them available to dept members,” the email from June 16 reads.
The email came with a note from Katie Kline, the city’s housing specialist who also works with the ERG.
The quote from Kline explained that the Pride ribbons are “designed to represent the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.”
“The Trans visibility ribbons bring awareness specifically to the transgender community and the recent increase in anti-trans legislation, discrimination, and violence,” she said.
Kline said the city encourages “staff to display the ribbons and their pronoun stickers where they feel comfortable.” Doing so will help “advance the city’s strategic priority to be a leader in racial equity and inclusion.”
While it is unclear what the ribbons and pronoun stickers have to do with racial issues, Kline explained that the city will be providing “more information on pronouns, LGBTQ+ awareness and allyship” through online educational postings in the month of June.
The St. Louis Park City Council recently passed a resolution declaring June “Pride Month.”
“The City of St. Louis Park has an active LGBTQ+ employee resource group that works towards creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ employees,” the resolution says. “Pride month is an opportunity to acknowledge how the LGBTQ+ community continues to face persecution and discrimination and challenge sexism and homophobia and other negative stereotypes.”
In a statement to Alpha News, a city spokesperson confirmed that the Pride paraphernalia was distributed to all employees. She stressed that it’s “entirely optional” for employees to participate.