Masquerade Thanks the "Winnipeg Police Service" for an informative presentation..
Special thanks to the ..
Winnipeg Police Service and Sargent Ron Johannson
For their viewpoint on what it is we do for fun.
For our January 8, 2002 meeting, Sargent Ron Johannson of the Winnipeg Police Service "Diversity Unit" was our guest speaker.
Sergent Johannson is head of the Diversity Relations division, which is kinda of a liason between various groups, communities, and the police service, helping each to understand each other better. He started out just in a conversation with us, not realy a presentation, and asked us about as many questions as we asked him. He told us he had visited our web sites, and had read about our shopping trips to Polo Park and The Forks adventures.
Basicaly, he advised us that we were in no way breaking any laws by dressing and going out in public. That's it, bottom line, period! He assured us that if we were to come in contact with the police for any reason, that we should be treated no different than if we had been in contact with the police in guy-mode. He did say that yes, it may be a shock to the officer involved, and that each officer will react different. However, he pointed out that if we were feeling we were not treated with proper respect, that we did have recourse. To "Contact the Winnipeg Police Service Diversity Unit" and they will speak with the officers. He even said to mention his name. (Nice to have the police on our side*S*).
We can understand how various officers may react to us in different ways. Sergent Johannson said that the mandate of his division is to educate the officers of the department what they are to expect in the field, and that now that he has come to our meeting, met with us, that he can add this to his list of "this is what you will face on the streets" during talks at the district offices and the police academy. He basicaly said that without the knowledge that our community exists, that the service can't have an understanding about what it all is about.
So basically, he left us all with the feeling that we have absolutely nothing to fear from the police at all, unless of course we were in fact caught speeding or breaking another law. He did say that as long as we inform officers who we realy are without trying to hide our real names, and provide our proper identification, we are not doing anything wrong with our crossdressing in public.
He also said we should not ever hesitate to contact the police just because of how we are dressed. His comment "You are all citizens of the City of Wininpeg and are entitled to the same level of police service as any other citizen!"
We were all glad to have had the officer's input, and can now go out and enjoy life!
You may contact the Winnipeg Police Service Diversity Unit via e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Write to us via e-mail email@example.com
All photos are used with permission.
© Masquerade 2009