Do any of you florida folks know anything about a gay cop, from Hollywood Florida, that was killed yesterday in an auto accident? So far, I know that he was not a member of Florida Legal as all of our members are acounted for. If you guys hear anything, please let me know. Carroll
I heard about this today, although I didn't hear anything about him being gay. It's always a possibility. Either way, it's a tragedy. If anyone does hear if he was gay, please let us know. According to the news reports and comments from other officers, he was very well liked and professional to boot. A tragic loss for sure.
Yes, the cop was gay. I got a call from the South Florida Blade newspaper. It's the local gay publication. The reporter told me that the cop was gay and asked me if he was a member of Florida Legal. I checked the membership list an found that he was not. Anyway, after telling me that officer Del Rios was gay, he asked me about the procedures that a department would follow when a gay officer dies in the line of duty. I outlined everything for him and told him that the procedures are the same weather or not the cop was gay. He has lots of questions that he wanted to ask me about Florida Legal. I will be talking to him again today to answer them. He wanted to know what a LGBT criminal justice group would do to honor a member who died. Bluepride, I told him what we did when officer Joel Yoskowitz died. How we, attended the funeral, with the families permission, we placed our banner over the coffin, and I did a euolgy. Anyway, several of our members knew him. I'll talk to them and see what else I can find out.
Last Edit: Nov 25, 2008 10:07:32 GMT -5 by Deleted
Yes, Police Officer Del Rio was gay and was a friend of some members of Florida LEGAL. He wasn't a member, though. Blue Pride extends it's condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of PO Del Rio. It's really heartwarming to read the comments left by readers on the Officers Down Memorial Page site. I'm fairly sure at least some of the other officers that left messages knew he was gay but that doesn't diminish the respect and admiration they had for him. And that's a great thing. Hopefully, the aftermath of his death will be easy on his partner, if he had one and the rest of his family. It's important to have your beneficiaries listed with your departments because you never know if you will meet the same fate as Alex. I'm hoping that he died instantly because from the photos I've seen, that accident was horrendous and it would be even more tragic if he had suffered as a result of it. Rest In Peace, Brother.
Alex Del Rio remembered as a devoted officer and great friend
By JUAN CARLOS RODRIGUEZ NOV. 26, 2008
Alex Del Rio, the 31-year-old Hollywood police officer who was killed in a fiery crash on Sheridan Street in Hollywood Nov. 22, lived out of the closet, but he did not wear his sexual identity on his sleeve.
He may have identified as bisexual, but he was just like all the other officers. He loved fast cars, he loved watching the Miami Dolphins and he was highly committed to serving the public.
Derick Pitts was among Del Rio’s best friends. He said Del Rio was always alarmingly aware of the dangers he faced in police work. Pitts said Del Rio had told him he always wore his bulletproof vest because he always expected to be shot by a motorist during a traffic stop.
“I was prepared for that kind of call,” Pitts said. “I was not prepared for what happened.”
Del Rio was killed when he lost control of his Crown Victoria, slammed into a tree and burst into flames.
Del Rio began working in Hollywood as a part-time community service aid in 1996. In 2004, Del Rio was outed when Hollywood police responded to a minor domestic dispute between he and his boyfriend of the time, fellow Hollywood officer Mike Verdugo. But he didn’t let the scandal interfere with his job. Hollywood Police spokesman Manny Marino described Del Rio, a nine-year veteran, as one of the most well-liked officers on the force.
“The fact that he was gay didn’t matter,” said Fort Lauderdale Det. Brice Brittenum, the department’s GLBT community liaison. “As far as I knew he went to work and did his job very well.”
Del Rio was a common face in the gay community. He was a regular at Sidelines Bar in Wilton Manors, and often hung out at both straight and gay nights at VooDoo Lounge and Himarshee in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Del Rio played in Sideline’s Tuesday night Q-Ball pool league, and members of the league gathered Tuesday to honor the player who they considered the jokester of the team.
“He was always making light of things that were serious,” said teammate Joe Gallo. “He was a police man but he didn’t show it. He had a positive attitude.”
What a touching video. It's so nice to know that he was loved by such a large perrsonal and police family. I'm happy to report that some of his friends, from Florida Legal were there to add their support. Although he was not a member of Florida Legal, he was still one of us and he will be missed by those who knew and loved him. Seeing the video brings back many sad memories of the many funerals we have attended in the past for gay officers. I remember when Mike D's partner Roy died, after the funeral we set up a gay and lesbian memorial library, bearing his name, at the adolescent detention center on Rikers Island. When Bobby died, we sent a delegation to Huntington West Virginia to participate in the services. We all spoke at the funeral and one of our lesbian officers, named Angela, insisted on being a pallbarer and she did it with great grace and honor. We all turned out when Jimmy's partner Patrick died. I remember seeing him in the coffin proudly wearing his GOAL pin. When Joel Yoskowitz died, we flew to Florida, placed the banner on the coffin and I gave a eulogy. When a LGBT officer or partner dies, It's important that our community is there to support them and to demonstrate how they were loved by our communiy. These are very sad events, but I'm proud to have participated in them. Rest in peace officer Del Rio.
Last Edit: Nov 30, 2008 11:49:16 GMT -5 by Deleted
THANK YOU BluePride for posting the video of the services for officer Alex Del Rio.
As a Thanatologist, and specifically in the companion field of Pastoral Thanatology, I try especially to focus upon - and bring to the hearts of those who are bereaved - two aspects of the grief process that offer a pathway toward healing from a painful loss:
The Giving and Receiving of Love The Giving and Receiving of Forgiveness
The emotion and the Love in the services for officer Del Rio were clear for all to see and hear. I honor Prydeguys and all those who have shown great grace and dignity and especially LOVE at a time of the closing of a life.
Mark Hartness, MS, Grief and Bereavement Counseling MS, Pastoral Thanatology
The CARE is in the CARING. M.H. - Thanatology / Traumatology - MPH, MS, MS, LSPT, CT, FT, CPE