By Johnny Diaz Sun Sentinel
WILTON MANORS, Fla. — Wilton Manors, Florida is known as the unofficial capital of the LGBT community in South Florida and one of the gay-friendliest cities in the country.
Now, the Broward County city right next to Fort Lauderdale has a police car that reflects its all-inclusive spirit.
The Wilton Manors Police Department has redesigned a squad car with a giant rainbow –– a longtime symbol of pride for the LGBT community. A rainbow decorates each side of the car. The back window reads, “Policing with Pride.”
“This is our way of supporting our Wilton Manors community that is welcoming to all,” said Gary Blocker, the city’s assistant police chief. “Each and every day, our agency policies with pride and passion and this car reinforces to our stakeholders that we are stronger together.”
The department invites people to take selfies with the colorful patrol car and use the hashtag #wmpd4all on social media postings.
The 2013 Ford Interceptor will remain in the city throughout the year. It’s not the only South Florida patrol car with a rainbow to support the LGBT community.
Since 2013, Miami Beach has had a squad car with “POLICE” in rainbow hues. The Ford Crown Victoria is used at community events such as the annual Miami Beach Pride festivities and Veteran’s Day parade.
“We are very proud of our strong relationship with the LGBTQ community,’’ said Detective Ernesto Rodriguez, the department’s spokesman.
Wilton Manor’s colorful squad car is the latest example of how gay-friendly the town is.
In November, voters elected an all-LGBT commission, a first in Florida elections.
The city also ranked first on a list of most in-demand gay-friendly global cities for LGBT travel during the holidays. Figures from the 2010 U.S. Census showed that Wilton Manors has the second-highest percentage of gay couples in the country after Provincetown, Mass.
©2019 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)