San Rafael, CA – December 28, 2011.A San Rafael Police Department Reserve Officer has been recognized with a scholarship from a national non-profit organization.
Reserve Officer Sam Garanzini received the award from Out to Protect, an organization dedicated to supporting LGBT law enforcement professionals. The $500 scholarship assisted Ofc. Garanzini while he completed the basic police academy at Santa Rosa Junior College. He graduated from the academy at the top of his class on December 1, 2011.
Garanzini, 34, is a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice in San Francisco. He comes from a large police family and he always expected that he would become a police officer someday. He was a police explorer in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri and at age 17 formed the first police explorer bicycle unit in the Midwest. Garanzini later moved to California to attend graduate school at the University of San Francisco and made San Rafael his new home. In 2010 he decided it was time to return to his law enforcement roots while maintaining his therapy practice, and he applied to become a San Rafael Police reserve officer. He said “I am very touched and humbled to have won this scholarship and proud to represent SRPD.”
Lt. Raffaello Pata, who heads up the reserve officer program, said “the program is a benefit to our agency and our community as we train potential officers of the future. Reserve officers work for free, but have the same foundation and initial training as our regular officers. Sam is an excellent example of a dedicated person who volunteers his time to better our city, our community and himself.”
Out to Protect was founded in 2009 and is based in Santa Rosa, California. Their mission is to create a greater awareness of the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender professionals working in law enforcement and to support those pursuing a law enforcement career. The program is funded entirely by private donations and scholarships are typically awarded twice a year. For more information go to http://www.outtoprotect.org.