SAN JOSE, Calif. - The San Jose Police Department has launched a bold new campaign to recruit officers from the LGBT community.
The print ads and commercials feature real SJPD officers saying goodbye to their same-sex partners as they leave for work. The videos end with Chief Eddie Garcia saying, "I want your family to be a part of our police family."
Openly gay officer James Gonzales says, "It's an effort to show the police department is a reflection of our community. We have all types of families and all types of families are welcome to work here." He says LGBT recruitment should lead to people being able to become police officers and serve openly.
The president of the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center in San Jose is happy to see the aggressive recruitment plan. Gabrielle Antolovich is on Chief Garcia's Community Advisory Board. She says, as one example, the LGBT community suffers from higher suicide rates... and LGBT officers will be better equipped to understand LGBT mental health issues.
Silicon Valley Pride is this weekend. Chief Garcia will be in the parade in a specially decked out pride police car. And, the recruitment booth will have the new materials featuring same sex police families.