LGBTQ cops talk about being out and proud in Central Florida and Tampa Bay

By : Jeremy Williams
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Tom Woodard had law enforcement in his blood. His parents were both officers; his mother was a detective for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and his stepfather was a major in the Winter Haven Police Department. Woodard wanted nothing more than to go into the family business, and in Oct. 1988, he got his wish. Woodard became a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) on Halloween.

Less than a year later, Woodard’s world would be turned upside down when a fellow officer outed him as a gay man.

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Police investigating homophobic threats made against St. Pete Pride

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The St. Petersburg Police Department is investigating threats made against this weekend’s St. Pete Pride Festival and its attendees.

The threats were allegedly made on social media by a Facebook user listed as Jimmy Hutmaster. Authorities were alerted immediately by area local Ryan Menke, Tampa Bay’s ABC affiliate reported June 20.

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League of Women Voters hold forum for St. Petersburg City Council candidates

By : Samuel Johnson
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ST. PETERSBURG | St. Petersburg City Council candidates discussed a variety of city specific issues. The overarching tone was, generally speaking, vague on details but full of amiable rhetoric. Whether it was talk on the Rays, the pier or Pride celebrations; there wasn’t any tangible fringe politicking.

The League of Women Voters organized this public event which took place in the council chambers at city hall Sept. 25. It’s the third forum following the August primaries. All six candidates were present: Barclay Harless and Brandi Gabbard of District 2, Jerick Johnston and incumbent Darden Rice of District 4, Gina Driscoll and Justin Bean of District 6.

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St. Pete police department to be trained in transgender sensitivity

By : Wire Report
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The St. Petersburg Police Department is launching a new transgender sensitivity training program.

The training comes two months after a Tampa transgender woman’s murder — and law enforcement’s handling of it — captured national attention.

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