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Sergeant James "Jimmy" Farrell, of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, serves as theCommunity Relations / Special Event Sergeant for the West Hollywood Sheriff's Station. 18 ofhis 23 years with the LASD have been spent in West Hollywood. A multiple award winner for his numerous contributions to public safety, Sergeant Farrellcurrently manages all the high-profile special events here, including LA PRIDE, while alsosupervising the COPPS Team (Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving) and bicyclepatrol. He is a leader in law enforcement and a key ally for the LGBT community. "As a leader in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, I commit myself to honorablyperforming my duties with respect for the dignity of all persons, integrity to do right and fightwrongs, wisdom to apply common sense and fairness in all I do and courage to stand againstracism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and bigotry in all its forms," said Sergeant Farrell. "Jimmy does not see himself as the straight guy doing this-he is a plain old fashionedgood guy who operates from his head and his heart," said Lynda Castro, retired LASDCommander.Christopher Street West, and the greater LGBT community, has benefittedimmensely from having an ally in Sgt. Farrell. He is thoughtful, respectful andunderstands the unique challenges we sometimes face and has helped fostergreater understanding and acceptance among the law enforcement community. Christopher Street West recognizes Sergeant James Farrell for his outstand-ing community service to all and proudly awards him the CSW SpecialCommunity Award.CSW SPECIAL COMMUNITY AWARDJames FarrellThe CSW Special Community Award acknowledges outstanding persons, organizations, businesses, etc., that are identified as deserving of special recognition for exceptional reasons.BERMAN/SCHAFFER AWARDValerie SpencerThe Berman/Schaffer Award recognizes an individual or organization within the LGBT community that has made a noticeable and positiveimpression on the community, inspires self-esteem and builds strategic partnerships."Valerie Spencer is a special, gifted and courageous individual. She is true to her convictions and knows her purpose,"said Karina Samala, CSW board member. Valerie Spencer is a transgender advocate and educator. A native of Southern California, she works in the arena ofsocial services-specifically representing HIV prevention and service delivery as it relates to the transgender communi-ty. Spencer has worked with a diverse array of organizations and agencies-including health departments and universi-ties and developed Los Angeles County's first curriculum addressing transgenderism from the perspective of people ofcolor. In addition, she has presented to community groups and at conferences around the country. Valerie Spencer describes herself as "being a woman from birth but discovering that just a bit later." Her personaldirective is simple-to make the complex comprehensive. "Trans-issues are very diverse,often moving into areas more commonly ignored by mainstream society: sexism, gender pho-bia, poverty and marginalization as a whole," Spencer said. Valerie Spencer co-developed and co-facilitated the Transgender Leadership Academy, acollaborative effort between the Los Angeles Transgender Youth Consortium and the FTMAlliance. "This was a ground-breaking effort to build our leaders. In the past, transgenderleadership came into being by way of osmosis. This was a chance to take all of the informa-tion that we as leaders have gained, share it in a constructive manner and shape our maver-icks of the future," she said Spencer has an artistic side as well. She co-starred in the 2004 V-Day production of "TheVagina Monologues," featuring an all trans-woman cast. In addition, Spencer was featuredin the documentary, "Beautiful Daughters," which aired on Logo and Showtime television. "We are a special, gifted and courageous people who have been caught by the diversionsof labeling, self-hate and misunderstanding. But there is hope and this hope will move us tothe greatness of who we really are," Spencer said. Valerie Spencer has made forward-development and comprehensive dialogue her move-ment. For all that she has done for the transgender community, the LGBT community andthe community at large that Christopher Street West is proud to honor her with the the Berman / Schaffer Award.34 LAPRIDE.org