Miami Beach Detective Juan Sanchez, an out gay police officer who for six years has served as the department’s official liaison to the LGBT community, will be honored March 3 during the annual Winter Party Festival.
Sanchez became liaison in 2010, when the city sought to improve relations between the police department and the LGBT community. At the time, several gay tourists and residents had complained to Miami Beach officials about poor treatment by some local cops.
Since then, Sanchez has helped train officers inside and outside the Beach police department how to respectfully interact with gay men, lesbians and trans people.
Sanchez will be honored at the Winter Party’s VIP cocktail reception 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, a the rooftop garden of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Winter Party Festival is presented annually by the National LGBTQ Task Force as a local and national fundraiser. This year’s Winter Party Festival will be March 2-7.
Never miss a local story.
Here’s the complete Winter Party Festival news release:
The National LGBTQ Task Force will honor Detective Juan Sanchez, Miami Beach Police Department’s LGBTQ community liaison, at the Winter Party Festival VIP Cocktail Reception. The Reception will take place Thursday, March 3, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Rooftop Garden of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Tickets to the event are $100 and are available for purchase online at http://www.winterparty.com/vip-cocktail.
“As the Miami Beach Police Department liaison to the LGBTQ community for the past six years, Detective Sanchez has provided a direct line of communication between the community and law enforcement,” said Michael Bath, Events Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force. “He has dedicated a large part of his career to making Miami Beach a safer place for LGBTQ residents and tourists, and he has played a major role in many of the advancements that have transpired. He has passionately offered much of his time and expertise to ensuring the security and comfort of our Winter Party guests. He is a true friend to everyone at Winter Party and we are thrilled to recognize him for all of his efforts and successes.”
Sanchez joined the Miami Beach Police Department in 1987 and is currently assigned to the Special Victims Unit. For the past six years, he has served as the department’s LGBTQ community liaison as well as a key advisor to the Chief of Police and his command staff. During his tenure, Sanchez developed the department’s “Hate Crimes Report Writing” training, which is taught to all members of the department and the city’s 911-call center. He also authored the department’s “Transgender Interactions Standard Operating Procedure” with the assistance of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), making the Miami Beach Police Department the first department in the state of Florida to implement such a policy. This policy has since been distributed to other police departments across the country to serve as a model. Traveling to Washington D.C., Sanchez helped develop the Justice Department’s training, “Law Enforcement and the Transgender Community,” and he has traveled throughout the East Coast to present this training. Sanchez also sits on the City of Miami Beach Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee as a consultant.
The special reception will feature an elaborate menu by Thierry Culinary and Event Design, featuring a carving station and Thierry’s “Famous Paella Valenciana,” and cocktails by Bacardi featuring GREY GOOSEÒ Vodka. DJ Rafael Barreto from Brazil will set the mood of the event with his unique brand of chill lounge music. The elegant evening high above Miami Beach is produced by Galrdon Event Architecture and sponsored in part by the New World Symphony. For questions or additional information on the VIP Cocktail Reception, please contact Jorge Richa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Party Festival is an iconic six-day celebration of diverse LGBTQ people from all over the world who come together to learn, live, laugh and forge lifelong relationships. Proceeds from the annual Winter Party Festival and the National LGBTQ Task Force Gala - Miami support the Task Force’s local and national advocacy, organizing, and leadership development work for LGBTQ people. Additionally, the Task Force contributes a significant portion of the proceeds from this event and the National LGBTQ Task Force Gala – Miami to The Miami Foundation’s GLBT Community Projects Fund. To date, these donations exceed $2.1 million and have benefited over 50 local organizations. This summer, the organization made the largest donation in its history thanks to a record-breaking year for both events.
Winter Party Festival will run March 2 - 7, 2016 at venues throughout Miami Beach and Miami. To purchase passes, individual tickets or for more information on Winter Party Festival, visit www.winterparty.com.