The Justice Department has launched a program to train local police departments to better respond to transgender people, who disproportionately suffer from violence and abuse.
Launched Thursday, the initiative will help officers to identify hate crimes and foster trust within the transgender population. Law enforcement officials say many in the community are often reluctant to report such crimes, reports Associated Press.
"It's clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue," says Associate Attorney-General Tony West. "Because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement."