To celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month, the Los Angeles County Sheriff has introduced a rainbow colored, uniform shoulder patch.
During the LA Pride Parade Sunday in West Hollywood, Sheriff Alex Villanueva, Undersheriff Tim Murakami, and Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon and approximately 50 sheriff’s department personnel wore the patch as they traveled the parade route.
Villanueva also gave away the special Pride Patch to spectators watching the festivities along Santa Monica Boulevard.
The Pride Patch also is for sale ($10 plus shipping costs), and all profits will be donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Homeless Youth Shelter, which opened last month at the center’s new Anita May Rosenstein Campus.
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Sheriff celebrates LGBTQ community
“I am proud of each and every one of the fine men and women in the LASD, who serve our diverse communities every day,” Villanueva said in a statement and on the department’s Facebook page. “We will always celebrate the fact that within our ranks, so many LGBTQ members of our Department serve openly and with absolute pride.
Villanueva also encouraged members of the community to apply for positions in the department.”
Villanueva also said embracing the LGBTQ community is integral to the department.
“It is essential to our mission that this Department reflects the diverse communities that we serve,” Villanueva said. “As we concentrate our recruitment efforts on hiring from within L.A. County, I encourage members from the LGBTQ community to apply and become a part of our very inclusive family.”
Pride Patch coordinator
The Pride Patch was designed and authorized by the Sheriff and coordinated by Lt. Don Mueller, who marched in Sunday’s parade with his husband, Oriel Briguela.
“This is an exciting first for Southern California Law Enforcement and one of the first law enforcement pride patches anywhere in the county,” Mueller also said in the statement and on social media. “Throughout history, police and the sheriff’s department have had an adversarial relationship with the LGBTQ community at best. But today, we have hundreds of the gay, lesbian and transgender deputies and officers who serve openly with pride.”
Since Sunday, more than $10,000 has been raised from sales of the patches, which can be ordered here.