Tampa Police Department touts Pride-themed badge ‘as a conversation starter’

A collectible “conversation starter” was released for one Florida police department that left many challenging their prioritization for “gay badges.”

Community outreach from law enforcement officers has typically been encouraged and celebrated for fostering open lines of communication. However, the latest move from the Tampa Police Department to mark “Pride” month was readily razzed as a rainbow-colored waste of resources.

Thursday, the TPD’s social media account posted a short video featuring the virtue-signaling uniform additions with the caption, “Incorporating the Progress Pride Flag, this badge is 1 of 9 that members can choose to collect or wear in June. Serving as a conversation starter & symbol of safety, we’re here to listen, learn, and ensure all members of our community feel included, safe, and respected.”

During the video that ended with the department representatives standing in front of a rainbow-themed art installment spelling out Tampa, a spokesperson could be heard explaining, “We all want to feel safe and respected no matter who we are. Our newest commemorative badge is one of nine that members of the department can choose to collect or wear, as a symbol of our department’s commitment to serving members of the LGBTQ+ community with understanding.”

“By fostering open communication, we can make sure that everyone feels comfortable reaching out to the police whenever they need help,” she continued. “The badge incorporates the rainbow flag, as well as the five-color chevron that represents people of color and the transgender community. Together these colors symbolize the continued progress for marginalized groups within the LGBTQ+ community and the forward movement for inclusion within society.”

Using the tremendous platform of Libs of TikTok toward its purpose, highlighting the often inane, insane or inhumane behaviors of leftists, sharing the TPD video less than two hours later with the caption, “The Tampa Police Department announces gay police badges for pride month. What if they just focused on policing and keeping everyone safe?” had amounted to roughly 20 times more views at over 2.6 million as of Sunday morning.

Many reactions were similarly frustrated with incensed users calling out a waste of taxpayer money or an unnecessarily divisive message that suggested first responders would police the alphabet-addled differently than other members of the community.

“Here’s an idea,” suggested independent journalist Kyle Becker, “Protect all citizens equally regardless of what they do with their private parts.”

Others contended, “This is very stupid and cringe,” “This crap saves no one,” and “Inappropriate. Keep ideology out of law enforcement.”

Meanwhile, in a statement provided to Florida’s Voice, a spokesperson from TPD reinforced that the badges were “entirely voluntary and not tax-funded” and indicated, “Officers who choose to participate purchase the badges at their own cost and wear them on authorized dates throughout the year.”

Kevin Haggerty

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