In a move to be more a part of the community the San Jose Police Department is actively recruiting the LGBT community.
The new campaign called “SJPD + Your Family” features three real life couples from the department. A straight, gay, and lesbian couple. There are TV ads that mimic each other and at the end one of the three different ads, one of the couples are featured. A print campaign is also being launched featuring the couples and telling the community they want them. With the tagline: “Now Hiring: San Jose Police Department welcomes all families to join our police family.”
Chief Eddie Garcia recently announced a liaison role to help address issues with the LGBT community. Stating, ““The reality is the LGBT community gets overlooked often. Bias isn’t solely about race. We can’t preach social justice outside the organization if we’re not preaching it inside as well. We want to continue to mirror the community we serve.”
The announcement and campaign are coming before Silicon Valley’s Pride event this weekend. The department hopes to drum up interest in recruiting police officers for the force. Garcia will ride in the parade with a squad car outfitted with rainbow SJPD decals.
Not only is there an outward push, but the officers are required to go through more thorough training regarding the LGBT community in their cultural competence training.
Office James Gonzalez, is one of two openly gay males on the force and said of the initiative, “These steps are significant. No matter what you say, unless officers and people are seeing other officers serving openly, how will they have the confidence to do the same?”
Gonzales is featured with his husband in one of the ads. Officer Saul Duran appears in one with his wife. Officer Margaret Sandez rounds out the third couple appearing with her wife.
The chief reinforced that they are not prioritizing the LGBT community but working to bring them more fully into the fold. He hopes that the recruitment effort will also help the community feel more safe interacting with officers and reporting incidents. According to county figures, just one in four LGBT domestic-violence victims report the abuse to police, and the department hopes they can change this with a more inviting space.
H/T: Mercury News