Meet West Hollywood’s new (openly-lesbian) Sheriff Captain Kelley Fraser

October 1, 2014

West Hollywood, California (May 10, 2010) – When West Hollywood City Manager Paul Arevalo announced selecting Captain Kelley Fraser as the new West Hollywood branch Sheriff Captain, the press release contained no mention of her sexual orientation.


Captain Kelley Fraser has been named as the new West Hollywood Sheriff’s Captain at West Hollywood Station. WeHo News.

Not until she appeared before the full City Council to introduce herself and her family did anyone outside of city government realize that West Hollywood would be policed by a lesbian.

The historic posting (only openly-gay police commander Dave Kadish served in a similar position for LAPD), places a gay person as a LASD branch commander for the first time in Southern California.

The statement Mr. Arevalo released making the announcement read, “The combination of Captain Fraser’s technical law enforcement experience and her strong leadership skills make her the perfect Captain for West Hollywood,” said West Hollywood City Manager Paul Arevalo.

“During the extensive recruitment process, we met with a number of potential candidates.


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“Captain Fraser’s unique qualifications make her an excellent fit to command the West Hollywood Station and we look forward to working with her in the future,” continued City Manager Arevalo.


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The deputies at West Hollywood Sheriff Station branch. Photo Courtesy WeHo News. Click here to see full sized image.

Captain Fraser’s prior work experience includes serving as a Lieutenant for the Emergency Operations Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Office of Homeland Security Division; and a Lieutenant at the Temple Station.

Captain Kelley Fraser sat down with WeHo News about 30 days into her new posting to talk about policing, public safety and perception, and her focus on training her deputies, and of course, her family.

WeHo News: West Hollywood wants to know who Kelley Fraser is, why she wanted to be a cop and why she’s WeHo’s Top Cop.

Captain Fraser:“I’m a Southern California girl, raised by a single parent for the early years, so we lived all over, including Hawaii.


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We landed in Riverside because my brother is deaf, and we [with my mom's husband] settled there to have him attend the School for the Deaf there.

WeHo News: Why are you a cop?



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Photo by WeHo News.

Captain Fraser:I was an athlete in school and one morning 24 years ago looking through classifieds I saw an ad “be a deputy.”

It was an active career…

WeHo News:You’re one of those people who run toward conflict…

Captain Fraser: Yeah, that’s my MO; my mother says I had a calling for this because I was always a Dudley Doo-right – she says it’s a perfect fit for my personality.

WeHo News: How did you come up through the ranks?


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Captain Fraser: All deputies’ first assignment is in the jail, so I began there in Women’s Jail… I worked as a patrol deputy in Carson.

Was real fortunate to be transferred to our training division, where I trained on the use of force for several years. Then I became a drill instructor for newly hired deputies, so I have a big training background.


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Photo by WeHo News.

WeHo News: One day while walking our dog, WeHo, we spotted a congregation of five Sheriff deputies, squad cars parked, apparently debriefing or holding an impromptu field training session.

Captain Fraser: I urge the deputies in the field to debrief – every situation is so unique, you have to train constantly and communicate with the deputies. Training is real important to me.

Yesterday, at Target, for example; we don’t handle calls like that day in and day out, for which we’re very lucky. Thankfully, because of their training, they knew [how to handle the situation]. I was real proud of our response, how they handled themselves…

It comes down to, you can’t just show up for work every day; we train every day, too.


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WeHo News: What make West Hollywood different from stations you’ve served at before?

Captain Fraser: What’s very positive is that the community is so involved here. For me as top cop here , the community has an integral part to play; we can’t do it ourselves… it’s why we are able to do our job successfully.


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Photo by WeHo News.

The intensity of the community partnership here is unique [among communities].

WeHo News: In a recent off the cuff remark made on the phone while we scheduled this interview, you mentioned getting angry about what appeared at the time to be a minor crime wave coinciding with your arrival here? How accurate was that phrase – crime wave? Did WeHo News take the wrong meaning from the aside?

Captain Fraser: [When we spoke,] we had just handled a couple real noteworthy things, like the Lindsey Lohan affair, and other [high profile] incidents that bring attention to crimes.

When you really look at the numbers we’re pretty much below our trends in years past.


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It’s a perception of increase we’re looking at [recently.]

For example in burglaries we’re down 21 percent, down 14 percent in grand theft. Armed robbery is off 20 percent. Grand theft is even with last year.

The data she spoke about, compiled by LASD, gave comparisons for the current three month quarter January – March with that same quarter in 2009.


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Photo by WeHo News.

Captain Fraser would not allow WeHo News to take away or photograph the documents presented at the meeting.

The report showed crime in major crime categories down and minor crimes up for that period.

Crimereports.com, the interactive crime reporting site WeHo News carries as part of its weekly Crime Blotter, however, showed a marked increases in major crimes from March to April, the period roughly matching Captain Fraser’s first month.

Burglary was up from 14 incidents in March to 27 reports the following month; robbery reports went from 9 in the month of March to 19 in April.

All other categories of crime were static or showed slight reductions in reports when the two months were compared.

Captain Fraser:We’re out there campaigning for people to watch their surroundings and taking precautions so they can stay as safe as they can.

WeHo News: The public perception that danger on the street is up and becoming a problem, if a false perception, needs disabusing.


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Captain Fraser: Numbers are numbers, but OK, if there’s a high crime rate over here, that’s where we want more bodies and patrols, let’s focus on it.

We don’t want to create a perception that the city is unsafe, because it isn’t.


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Photo by WeHo News.

WeHo News:Tell us about your family. Your extended family? You’re immediate family?

Captain Fraser: My extended family is dispersed all across the country.

I am in a 12 year relationship with my partner, Devon (pronounced de-VON) and we’re raising her 15-yr old biological son Brandon together.

He’s just a great kid. (Devon is also a deputy sheriff)

I introduced them at the City Council meeting and it took some people back because they didn’t know.

I am in my opinion… I’ve been a deputy sheriff for 24 years. My personal life is… I am who I am. It’s kind of a natural thing. My partner and I live modestly; we enjoy our families.


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Both of our families are very supportive. I’m just your typical mommy; he’s got a track meet today.

My life is, I’m surrounded by people who are goodhearted… just good people.



Photo by WeHo News.

WeHo News: Where do you make your home?

Captain Fraser:South Orange County – Mission Viejo, which I know will make people wonder…

WeHo News: That’s a heck of a commute.

Captain Fraser:My partner, Devon’s, brother and his partner have place nearby with a room I can use. I have a great support network of family and friends.

Being a lesbian doesn’t come as a shocker to those who know me or don’t know me.


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My goal in my career has always been to work hard, treat people the best regardless of who they are, as they should be treated.


Captain Kelley Fraser has been named as the new West Hollywood Sheriff’s Captain at West Hollywood Station. WeHo News.

The fact that I’m here as an openly lesbian police captain at West Hollywood Station – I understand the significance, I understand the milestone.

I’m grateful that they had enough confidence in me to do the job – and that’s just it. I’ve been asked to do the job and I don’t take that lightly.

Devon is the soul of my earth. Without that support, I couldn’t attempt to do good things here. Every day is just a treat.

Being gay, being a lesbian, trying to figure out who you are as you grow up, was never a struggle for me. I knew who I was and wanted to be.


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My mother always supported me, as did the rest of my family.

I consider my self very fortunate to be posted here, in West Hollywood, as the openly lesbian Sheriff Captain.


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