Kelley Fraser recently named Captain of Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood
Surrounded by bobblehead dolls of her favorite Angels baseball team players, framed pictures of her smiling friends, and a toy yo-yo atop her desk, Sheriff Captain Kelley Fraser has decorated her office to reflect her interests.
Amidst her trinkets is a small rainbow flag that represents yet another aspect of her life: being a lesbian.
Fraser replaced Buddy Goldman as captain of the West Hollywood Sheriff's Department in early April.
Since the beginning of her career she has made a point to balance her professional and personal life, which includes her partner of 12 years and their 15-year-old son.
"I don't want to get lost in being a lesbian," she said. "I've been that. I am that. I have a job as a captain, and that's what's important."
Fraser attended Cal Poly Pomona uncertain of which career she would pursue. After shifting from her original aspirations of being an architect or professional athlete she casually responded to an deputy ad in the classifieds.
"I was a college student and I had no clue what I was going to do," she said. "I looked in the want ads on a Sunday afternoon and it had a big article and 1-800-BE-A-DEPUTY, so I called up and here I am."
Fraser's involvement with law enforcement followed her graduation from the Sheriff's Academy. Even after accumulating 24 years of experience, she still considers this accomplishment the defining moment in her career.
"The minute I graduated from the Academy and was given the opportunity to do this as a profession...that moment, that defining day, for me marked the best thing I could have ever done in my life," she said.
City Manager Paul Arevalo and Sheriff Lee Baca were looking for someone who met strict department standards, regardless of the candidate's sexual orientation.
"The city of West Hollywood community has a standard that their chief of police, their unit commander, their captain, does everything they can to ensure the public safety to the highest level," said Fraser. "That's their sole expectation."
After an extensive evaluation conducted by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, Fraser was deemed the appropriate candidate for the position. Fraser found her appointment to captain to be a smooth transition.
"The community has opened its arms up," she said. "They just want me to protect the city. That's it. All they see right now is me being the chief of police for them, and 'Oh by the way, she happens to be a lesbian.'"