TUCSON, Ariz. — The Safe Place Initiative is an effort to reduce anti-LGBTQ+ crimes, bullying, and to encourage the reporting of hate crimes.
Now the Tucson Police Department is working with Bank of America's in Tucson, to offer more safe places for the LGBTQ+ community.
Bank of America is Tucson Police's largest Safe Place partner, with the bank opening its doors at 13 of its Tucson locations to be a safe space for anti-LGBTQ+ violence.
"This not only will help preserve Tucson's legacy of being a great place to visit, live and work. But also, if individuals do find themselves victims of hate crimes this is a safe place, or really a safe haven, for where they can come," said Adriana Kong Romero, Bank of America's Tucson's market president.
Aside from offering physical locations, the department first launched the initiative in 2016 to bring awareness to bias-motivated crimes against members of the LGBTQ+ community, but also, to anyone else experiencing violence or harassment.
"We know there's been kind of a strained relationship between different people in the community. Minorities, the LGBTQ+ community. And we just want to put it out there that we want to be helpful, we want them to come to us and make reports of crimes that are hurting against them," said TPD Detective Gilbert Martinez.
Already prevalent in downtown Tucson, TPD says Bank of America's participation expands the Safe Place Initiative into more parts of the city.
"It was only familiar pretty down the Fourth Avenue area. We;re trying to expand it so that more people are aware of what's going on and what we're trying to do," said Martinez.
"With this being a bigger corporation, its a bigger platform and its going to put the awareness of the program out there a little bit more. I think this is probably also going to have a rippling effect where other agencies are going to get on board," said TPD Detective Dana Davis-Richardson.
The following is a list of the Tucson Bank of America banks participating in the Safe Place program:
- 1801 W. Ajo Hwy
- 2091 E. Irvington Rd
- 1601 W. Valencia Rd
- 902 N. Stone Ave
- 2885 N. Campbell Ave
- 2885 N. Campbell Ave
- 3480 E. Broadway Blvd
- 5502 E. Grant Rd
- 6245 E. Broadway Blvd
- 7077 E. Tanque Verde Rd
- 9015 E. Tanque Verde Rd
- 8150 S. Houghton Rd