Seattle, the homeland of Starbucks, and the birthplace of Safe Haven, a program that teaches workers how to spot, identify, and handle hate crimes, is creating a new and inclusive way to battle crimes against the LGBT community. The Seattle Police Department’s very own Jim Ritter, an openly gay officer who has been in the force for 30 years, launched the program so that the LGBT community and local businesses could become better allies.
The Capital Hill area of Seattle has recently had an increase in reported hate crimes against the LGBT community. With Capital Hill boasting many of the city’s LGBT businesses, Jim Ritter, felt it was time to demonstrate just how serious Seattle’s police force take hate crimes against the LGBT community.
Businesses that participate in the program display a rainbow-colored badge in their window to show their affiliation. Staff from these businesses are trained on how to recognize hate crimes, call 911 to report them, and offer a safe space to the victims.
Starbucks has decidedly joined the Safe Haven community and in doing so are training 2,000 of its employees across all the 97 stores they have in Seattle.
Ritter has gone to more than 650 businesses with proposals to join the Safe Haven community in Seattle and he has yet to be turned away.
To read more about Safe Haven click here.