WINDSOR, Ontario, January 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Windsor Police Service (WPS) announced last week an extensive training initiative in conjunction with EGALE to provide knowledge of “hate-crimes” against homosexuals to all staff members, from the chief of police to the garage mechanics.

The presentation was designed and will be facilitated by EGALE, Canada’s most influential homosexual lobby group.  EGALE first proposed the training to the Windsor Police, in addition to many other city police departments, last summer.  As yet, Windsor is the only department to take them up on the offer.

The five-week long mandatory training session, called “Report Homophobic Violence Period,” began last Wednesday. It is intended to “provide further insight” into the challenges faced by homosexuals to assist the WPS to “more readily distinguish between those crimes considered ‘Hate Related’ or crimes of opportunity” during investigations, according to a WPS press release.

Chief Gary Smith said, “As a police service, we want to encourage members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-identified population to feel more comfortable in coming forward and reporting crimes committed either against them or within the community. 

“This training will reinforce our knowledge of basic human rights and will increase our empathy toward this particular community within our society.”

LifeSiteNews.com (LSN) asked Sergeant Brett Corey, Media Relations Officer with WPS, what the response of the officers and staff has been to the training.  “The early stages indicate that it is a positive training experience,” said Corey.

“We have had some comments in terms of the content, in terms of the actual presentation.  The training is being re-evaluated as it goes along … given the fact that it is so new and as we go along we will be making some adjustments accordingly.”

Corey would not say exactly what the training involved. 

”We are still in the initial stages of [training], the majority of the personnel here have not received it yet,” Corey told LSN.  “We will be measuring the response from the officers as it comes in.”

According to the Criminal Code, Section 319, “Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty [of a hate crime]” and “every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty.”

“It’s the overtone that changes something from a regular offense under the criminal code to a “hate-crime,” said Corey.