ROHNERT PARK, Calif. (KRON) – This week, Rohnert Park has launched a safe space anti-hate campaign.
Soon you’ll start to see decals in windows of businesses and organizations. One was just put up at the Rohnert Park Senior Center.
If you see the decal, which sports a rainbow police badge, in a window, it’s a safe space for someone who is feeling threatened or experiencing hate. The person inside will know to call police immediately if necessary.
Businesses, schools, churches and organizations are all encouraged to register for the Department of Public Safety’s new safe space anti-hate campaign.
“Part of that is… you’re open and accepting of everyone,” said Rohnert Park Police Chief Tim Mattos. “It says a lot about the place that has it on the window. It’s not only, ‘Hey we are a safe place and we will help you if you come in here. We won’t ask questions, we won’t judge, we are here to help you.’”
Mattos says the support from the city and community so far has been overwhelming. He hopes this campaign will help anyone feel safe about calling police.
“People who experience hate and intolerance and bias, they usually don’t report it,” he said. “They are fearful. People who did this sort of stuff and throw hate, they depend on people not reporting it. That’s part of it.”
This campaign was started in Seattle by an LGBTQ+ police officer in 2015. It’s grown, with more than 300 first responder agencies participating across the country.
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All throughout the Pride month, officers will be repping a new patch on their uniforms, and the Pride flag is raised tall at the police department. They also showed support over the weekend at the Sonoma County Pride Parade.
“It just shows that, one, we are aware. Public safety stands by our community, and we represent everyone in our community,” Mattos said. “We want people to understand that we are a safe place also.”
Businesses and organizations can register for this campaign by going to the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety, or you can go to their website.