Press Release: Out To Protect Partners With Matthew Shepard Foundation

June 23, 2022 (Santa Rosa, CA) Out to Protect founder and president Greg Miraglia announced today a new partnership with the Matthew Shepard Foundation to provide hate crimes training for law enforcement throughout the United States. Law enforcement professionals will be able to access training online and learn how to detect, investigate, and document reported hate crimes.

Since 1998, the Matthew Shepard Foundation has advocated for hate crime laws and training for law enforcement on how to investigate reported hate crimes. In 2009, President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard, James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act which expanded hate crimes law throughout the nation. However, in order for state and federal hate crimes laws to be effective, law enforcement must know how to apply them.  Training on hate crimes detection and investigation is now required or available in every state. The Matthew Shepard Foundation has been providing hate crimes training for law enforcement in-person for many years, but this new partnership will expand access to law enforcement officers in every corner of our nation.

Greg Miraglia said, “Training on how to detect, investigate and document hate crimes is critical for every one of the 18,000+ law enforcement agencies in the United States. We are excited to be partnering with the Matthew Shepard Foundation to make our online training course available to every law enforcement officer in the country.”

Out to Protect developed the online Hate Crimes Investigations course in 2020 in partnership with the Napa Valley Criminal Justice Training Center and the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. This course prepares law enforcement first responders to recognize, document and investigate hate crimes. Students will learn about state and federal hate crime laws, how to support hate crime victims, and hate crimes trends in the United States. The course is inclusive of all hate crime bias motivation types including sexual orientation and gender identity.

The learning outcomes for this course include:

  • The student will identify the elements of state and federal hate crimes law.
  • The student will identify evidence and indicators of a hate crime.
  • The student will explain how to effectively interact with hate crime victims.
  • The student will demonstrate how to document a hate crime.

Funding for training is often an obstacle for law enforcement agencies and both organizations are committed to making this training available to any law enforcement agency or individual law enforcement professional who wants it.

“We have had the pleasure of partnering with law enforcement agencies across the country for many years in efforts to provide a better understanding of the experience faced by victims and victim’s families,” added Judy Shepard, President and Board Chair of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. “And although the need is evident, many departments are unable to afford to offer this level of training to all first responders. We are proud to help provide access to this highly effective training experience, particularly to smaller departments in rural areas.”

Matthew Shepard Foundation

The Matthew Shepard Foundation’s mission is to amplify the story of Matthew Shepard to inspire individuals, organizations and communities to embrace the dignity and equality of all people. Through local, regional and national outreach, we empower individuals to find their voice to create change and challenge communities to identify and address hate that lives within their schools, neighborhoods and homes.

Our work is an extension of Matt’s passion to foster a more caring and just world. We share his story and embody his vigor for civil rights to change the hearts and minds of others to accept everyone as they are.

For additional information about the Matthew Shepard Foundation, visit