Sarasota, Florida -- For the first time in its 110-year history, the Sarasota Police Department appointed its first female Chief of Police on Tuesday, Oct. 16.
Bernadette DiPino will be the 11th Chief to lead the department and will start at her new position on Jan. 1, 2013.
"Chief DiPino will bring the experience, passion and leadership to lead the SPD in partnering with every citizen in Sarasota to keep this community the safe and special place that it is," said City Manager Tom Barwin. "As a state and national leader in her field, Chief DiPino epitomizes the concept, and walks the walk, that police officers are a part of, not a part from the community."
here to view Chief DiPino's job application including resume.
Chief DiPino is currently in her 10th year as the Chief of Police for the Town of Ocean City, Maryland -- the second largest municipal police agency in the state. She has been in law enforcement for 27 years and since becoming a policing instructor in 1995, she has trained 1,000 officers in partnering and policing.
She is also an instructor in firearms, defensive tactics, domestic violence, suicide/crisis intervention, cultural diversity and effective communication.
Her accomplishments include:
- Transforming a bicycle patrol unit into a department wide community policing philosophy
- Reducing the availability of alcohol for minors
- Providing alcohol and drug free activities for high school graduates
- Partnering with nightclub owners to standardize the management of clubs
- Providing citizen outreach crime prevention training programs
- Engaging citizens directly through the use of social media including Twitter
- Developing partnerships with business owners and citizens
She has been honored with many professional recognitions and awards including Chief of Police Award, Citizen of the Year, Person of the Year, Outstanding Performance of Duty and is a 3-time Officer of the Year Award winner.
"I'm honored to have been selected as Sarasota's next Chief of Police," said Chief DiPino. "I'm really looking forward to engaging residents and becoming part of the community. I have an open door policy and I want to hear from everyone about police issues -- not just the bad, but what's good as well. Sarasota is the kind of community where I can have a positive impact and I can't wait to get started."