This recruiting ad for the San Jose Police shows actual gay, heterosexual, and lesbian officers. (Photo: San Jose PD)

This recruiting ad for the San Jose Police shows actual gay, heterosexual, and lesbian officers. (Photo: San Jose PD)

The San Jose (CA) Police Department is for the first time launching a campaign to recruit members of the LGBT community through a series of public initiatives and an ad campaign.

The campaign features identical ads showing the actual families of three officers: a heterosexual couple, a gay male couple and a lesbian couple.

Chief Eddie Garcia also announced last Thursday that his department has created a liaison role dedicated to addressing crime and police concerns within the LGBT community, which has battled issues with underreporting of crime out of fear of reprisal from families and colleagues.

Garcia led a push during the city’s Pride festivities to drum up interest in joining the police force. And inside the department within existing ranks, an array of projects to improve officers’ cultural competence with LGBT people and issues, and ability to discern hate crimes against them, is underway. Police academy recruits are already required to visit the Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center as a component of their diversity training, the San Jose Mercury reports.

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