SFPD’s gay captain to oversee community engagement efforts

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The San Francisco Police Department has appointed its first gay captain to oversee its community engagement division. Based in Mission Station, the division works closely with Community Liaison Officers assigned to the department’s 10 district stations and oversees efforts such as youth programs and annual donations of turkeys, toys and trees. of Christmas.

As the Bay Area Reporter first reported online Jan. 19, Captain Christopher Del Gandio is the first known gay man to achieve that rank. He is also currently the highest ranked LGBTQ police officer in the department.

Del Gandio has undergone training to become a captain and his community-focused division oversight mission LINK: https://www.sanfranciscopolice.org/your-sfpd/explore-department/community-engagement will become official on Saturday, January 29 . He told the BAR he was happy to have been sent back to oversee a division where he had been assigned as a lieutenant.

“I think this will give me the opportunity to help connect all communities, including my (LGBTQ) community, so that we can work together towards a safer future,” said Del Gandio, who passed his test. captain in July 2020.

The Teaneck, New Jersey native, who turns 42 on Jan. 22, graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Justice Administration. He had worked for a small police department in the Garden State as a dispatcher and police department aide. After college, he was employed as a probation officer, and a vacation in Northern California convinced him to apply to the SFPD.

He moved to San Francisco in December 2007 after being accepted into a class at the SFPD academy. He is the first in his family to seek a career in the police.

This is Del Gandio’s third promotion to the department. After being commissioned as a lieutenant, he was assigned to Mission Station, which is tasked with patrolling much of the city’s LGBTQ Castro neighborhood.

He was then assigned to the station’s community engagement division before being sent to Central Station, which covers tourist areas of the city like Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. More recently, he had been the night shift commander, overseeing the shift.

He told BAR he sees community policing as an integral part of how the SFPD approaches its mission to protect the public.

“We can’t do the job without the community. It’s in our blood now,” Del Gandio said. “We need the community to help us. I think the collaboration really helps us move forward and keep everyone safe.”

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