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WUWM's Teran Powell reports on race and ethnicity in southeastern Wisconsin.

'We are here. We exist.' Trans State Fair Park Officer says he and his department are making history

Dezjorn "DJ" Gauthier joined the Wisconsin State Fair Park Police in December 2022.
Dezjorn Gauthier
Dezjorn "DJ" Gauthier joined the Wisconsin State Fair Park Police in December 2022.

Officer Dezjorn Gauthier, or “DJ” as he’s known among his colleagues is the first out transgender officer with the Wisconsin State Fair Police Department.

He joined the department in December of 2022 and previously worked seven years in public safety at State Fair Park.

He says throughout his time working at State Fair Park, he’s enjoyed meeting visitors from across Wisconsin. Gauthier says when the opportunity to join the police force opened, he took it. He has always aspired to join the legal field in some capacity since he was a child. The law, the justice system, and police work have always been part of his life.

"This is not something that I was set out to do, it just so happened to be. And it just so happened to be with Wisconsin State Fair Park Police," Gauthier says.

Dezjorn Gauthier

"It means a lot, though, because I do understand that this is a historic moment, but again, I want everyone to know that history would not have been made if I didn't have every single one of my command staff, every single one of the officers that have been behind me," he says.

Gauthier emphasizes that he feels the State Fair Park Police Department promotes inclusion and diversity and wanting the staff to look like the people who visit the park.

"This is about everyone that was a part of this journey help me become the officer that I am, help me get this historic moment going, and it's not going to be the last," Gauthier says. "I am just the first of something that I'm sure, I'm sure that there are trans and non-binary officers that are on a force somewhere in the state of Wisconsin, somewhere across the United States, right, and it is just going to be for their time that they feel safe, that they feel OK to be able to say that they are."


Teran is WUWM's race & ethnicity reporter.
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