An Amazing Suncoast Woman - Chief Bernadette DiPino

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - On December 31st, Bernadette DiPino will celebrate 5 years as Police Chief of the City of Sarasota. And now she's taking another big step.

She says, "I am running for 4th Vice President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.This polition will automatically lead, eventually, to me becoming President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police."


It's going to be a hard fought campaign, but winning would be a great thing for Chief DiPino.

Chief DiPino is well suited for the job. By her heritage, her great grand father, grandfather, father and daughter are all police officers. In addition, her accomplishments as Chief of Police in Sarasota have also prepared her for the job.

As a Vice President and eventually President of the International Police Chiefs she would be able to promote the policies she has put into effect here. She says, "I think the thing I'm most proud of here is our policy of promoting within our organization, and our programs aimed at forging a strong relationship between the police and the community. I think we're making great strides, and improving these relationships makes our citizens safer, our officers safer and makes them more satisfied with their jobs."

Chief DiPino always wanted to be a police officer. Right after high school she started college, then took a break to get married, and have her daughter. Her dad wanted her to go back to college, not to become a police officer, but a lawyer, maybe a judge or a senator.

But the Chief says, "I wanted to be a police officer so bad and I heard Baltimore was hiring. I told my dad, I can finish my college degree, the police department pays for your schooling."

Her father finally agreed, and the rest is history.

"I joined the Baltimore County Police Force in 1985. And I love my job as much today as the first day I entered the Police Academy," she recalled.

She hopes her legacy will be a strong and trusting relationship between police officers, the community and businesses. She says, "That makes for a better quality of life for everyone."

And her life lesson.

"If you want accomplish something, you can. Don't let anybody tell you no. Stay driven and work hard."

She'll put that life lesson to work as she continues her campaign for the position of 4th Vice President of the International Chiefs of Police.The election will be held next October in Orlando. But, Chief DiPino says win or loose, she's not leaving Sarasota.