What is Safe Olympia?
The Olympia Police Department is committed to ensure all residents and visitors of Olympia know hate and bias-based crimes will not be tolerated in our city. The Safe Olympia program creates areas around our city for victims of these types of crimes to seek refuge and assistance.
Through partnerships with local businesses and organizations, Safe Olympia provides a visual clue for anyone experiencing violence or harassment based on their race, gender identity, sexuality, religion, national origin, or disability to know they can get help in the participating establishment.
History of the Safe Place program
Olympia PD has adopted the Safe Place model created by the Seattle Police Department in 2015. Seattle PD Safe Place is a law enforcement sponsored and overseen initiative that was born out of a need to address low reporting of anti-LGBTQ crimes and school bullying incidents by increasing public trust in law enforcement and feelings of safety in the community. The program was expanded in 2018 to include anyone who may have been a victim of a bias crime. SPD was the first law enforcement agency in the nation to launch a program of this kind. For more information on the inception of the Safe Place program and details of what constitutes bias-related crimes, please visit Seattle Police Department Safe Place.
How it works
Safe Olympia is a unique partnership with the business community that serve a critical role in assisting the victims of hate and bias-based crimes. Businesses that participate place an easily recognizable decal at their entrances. This symbol is a signal for victims of hate crimes that this location has partnered with the police, will call 911 on their behalf and allow them a safe place to stay on the premises until the police arrive.
The importance of reporting hate crimes
For the police to respond effectively to any crime, they must be notified immediately via 911 so that any injuries can be treated, witnesses can be interviewed, and evidence can be collected and preserved.
Unfortunately, victims of bias-motivated crimes are often fearful to report for a variety of reasons. This can lead to a significant under-reporting and inaccurate statistics. It also allows the suspects who committed these crimes to continue their behavior with other victims. The Olympia Police Department wants victims of hate crimes to feel safe reporting these incidents to the police. Understanding Hate Crimes.
How to report hate crimes
The locations on the map below are safe and secure places for victims of hate or bias related crimes and harassment.
- If the incident is happening now, or just happened, call 911 immediately.
- If the incident has already occurred, the immediate danger is over and there are no injuries, call 360-704-2740.
Safe Olympia locations
Information for participating businesses
How can my business participate?
- Submit an application and sticker request
- Commit to the Safe Olympia principles
- Once your request is received, OPD's Safe Place program administrator will deliver or mail your decals and/or posters to your location and provide further training to you and/or your staff on the OPD Safe Place concept if necessary.
What are my responsibilities?
Although the Safe Olympia program is free and voluntary, it is important that you educate your staff regarding their responsibilities:
- If a crime victim enters your premise, your staff should call 911 immediately on the victim's behalf.
- Allow the victim to remain on your premise until police arrive.
- If the victim leaves prior to police arrival, re-contact 911 and update the operator with the victim's and/or suspect's description and direction of travel.
As with any emergency situation, your staff should use due care and caution when providing the victims of crime safe shelter while being mindful of the safety of patrons, co-workers and compliance with company policy.
For information about the Safe Olympia program please contact one of our LGBTQ community liaisons at firstname.lastname@example.org