The Summit Police Department is announcing its participation in the Safe Place Program, a Union County initiative and partnership between the Summit Police Department and area businesses and organizations. It will promote a citywide zero-tolerance policy toward discrimination and advance a shared commitment to providing for the safety and security of all residents and visitors.
Safe Place Program participating organizations will display a decal designating their establishment as a safe place for victims of bias, harassment, discrimination, bullying, or hate crimes to find shelter while calling 911 for help. Union County and the City of Summit defines these as incidents related to race, color, religion, gender expression or identity, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, political ideology, age, parental status, national origin, or ethnicity. The program is not for residential use.
Union County is the first county worldwide to collectively execute the program, with all 25 law enforcement agencies in the county committed to participating in the program. There is no cost to area businesses to participate.
“We are thrilled to join other Union County agencies to bring the Safe Place Program to our community,” explains Summit Police Chief Steven Zagorski. “It is our hope that every Summit business and organization will join us to make the initiative successful and help ensure that people who live in Summit and visit here feel safe and supported.”
This initiative was developed by the Seattle Police Department in 2015 as an effort to reduce LGBTQ+ bias incidents and hate crimes, but has grown exponentially since its inception, and includes all forms of hate and bias incidents, as well as student bullying. The program is symbolized by a rainbow-colored shield and has been adopted by more than 300 law enforcement jurisdictions throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.
For more information on the Summit Police Department and the Summit Safe Place Program, please visit www.cityofsummit.org/safeplace. To participate or request program materials, area businesses and organizations should contact Officer David Kotiga at 908-598-2113 or CPU@SPDNJ.org.