Gay Cops And Community Policing In San Francisco


Lisa Frazer is a model police officer in San Francisco. She’s small but tough, says the San Francisco Chronicle. She teaches martial arts and carries a very large handgun on her hip. Fellow cops have seen her fight, and they say she’s more than ready to wade into battle when necessary. All things being equal, Frazer would rather not be known as the “lesbian cop.” The San Francisco Police Department may be the nation’s most gay-friendly department. Much like the city it serves, the department is a very diverse place. Gay cops serve openly.

There are lingering tensions between the gay community and the police department. It helps to have openly gay officers patrolling the Castro area. In addition to Frazer, there is Sgt. Chuck Limbert, one of the most senior gay officers in the department. Affectionately known as the “Unofficial Mayor of Castro Street,” Limbert knows everyone and everyone knows him. Limbert lives and plays in the Castro. That’s not a common trait among cops, many of whom can’t afford to live in the city, or would otherwise prefer a house in the suburbs. “Some people think I give too much attention to the Castro,” he said. Considering the popularity of “community policing,” is it possible to pay too much attention to any neighborhood? “No, I don’t think so,” he said. “If you take ownership of it, it’s your place. You have much more of an interest in helping people and keeping the neighborhood safe. Community policing is more than just cops walking beats.”


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