Juan F. Sanchez Detective
Detective Juan F. Sanchez has been a member of the Miami Beach Police Department since 1987. For most of his career he has been assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division where he has worked in the Violent Crimes, Property and Arson Units. He is currently assigned to the Special Victims Unit investigating crimes against children, missing persons and crimes against the elderly. Within this unit he is also tasked with monitoring the sexual offenders and predators registered in the City of Miami Beach.
In 2010, Juan, who is an openly gay police officer, was appointed by the then Chief of Police to serve as the Department’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender, Queer / Questioning (LGBTQ) Liaison. In this position Juan serves as a key advisor to the Chief of Police and his staff on LGBTQ needs. He conciliates, mediates, facilitates, trains and / or refers services depending on the needs of the department and the community he serves.
Detective Sanchez developed the department’s Hate Crimes reporting training module, which was taught to the entire Department during the 2015 calendar year as well as all new recruits. He also is an unofficial Hate Crimes Coordinator, working closely with the Miami-Dade County States Attorney’s Hate Crimes Unit to bring criminals to justice when these types of crimes occur.
Detective Sanchez was sent to several sit down sessions at the Department of Justice in Washington DC, serving as the department’s Ambassador, to help create a training titled Law Enforcement and the Transgender Community. This training module, which the department and Detective Sanchez are listed as a resource and has been taught throughout the United States. He was asked by the Department of Justice to assist in presenting this training. He has travelled to several locations thoughtout the South East United States presenting this training. He worked closely with the Department of Justice to bring this training to South Florida.
The Department of Justice called upon Juan’s hate crimes expertise, and he partook in two separate panels during their Hate Crimes Seminar in which Denis and Judy Shepard, the parents of Hate Crime victim Mathew Shepard, were the guest speakers. His work was commended by Mr. and Mrs. Shepard and has received praise from US Attorney Willy Ferrer.
It was this work that prompted Detective Sanchez to create the department’s Transgender Interactions Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), working closely with Washington DC’s Center for Transgender Equality to create the SOP. This same SOP has served as a model for departments across the United States and has been set into place by the St Petersburg Florida Sheriff’s Office.
He is willing to share his personal experiences, which was evident when he was asked to meet with a group of LGBTQ Japanese delegates, to ask about the relationship the department has with the LGBTQ community. He answered many questions, which were personal in nature, believing that if his answers could help anyone in Japan than, it was worth it.
He is known throughout the local LGBTQ community as never saying, “No” but always saying “Let me get back to you to see what I can do”.
He has been honored by the National LGBTQ Task Force, listed as one of South Florida Gay News’ Out 50, a finalist at the South Florida Law Enforcement Officer Awards, and the Anti-Defamation League.