Seattle Starbucks joins LGBT hate crime safe haven program

By : Jamie Hyman
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Starbucks and Seattle police are teaming up to make sure LGBT hate crime victims have a safe place to go.

The coffee chain announced the Safe Place Program is rolling out to all 97 Seattle Starbucks locations right now, and their 2,000 area employees completed training Nov. 9. 

The partnership began when Seattle police officer Jim Ritter became LGBTQ liaison for the department and learned many hate crimes go unreported. He created the Safe Place Program to try to encourage victims to seek out police help. Participating businesses display a rainbow window sticker, which indicates the employees inside have received training and will help hate crime victims, allowing them to stay on the premises while help arrives.

“This definitely aligns with our values as an organization – to create a safe and inclusive environment in our stores,” said Heather Jennings, director of Starbucks Regional Operations, in a press release posted to the Starbucks website. “It’s been really well-received by our store partners. I think what Jim is doing is about bringing the community together to say harming people, whether they be LGBTQ or not, isn’t acceptable.”

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