Meet the Leadership Blog Series

The IACP Board of Directors is comprised of the IACP Executive Board as well as 33 law enforcement leaders appointed by the IACP President. The members of the Board of Directors represent agencies large and small around the globe and contribute to the governance of the IACP. In the IACP’s new Meet the Leadership Blog Series, the IACP will feature brief profiles of the 33 appointed members of the Board of Directors, in the months leading up to the 2017 IACP Annual Conference and Exposition.

Name: Bernadette DiPinoChief DiPino

Title: Chief of Police

Agency: Sarasota, Florida, Police Department

Year joined the IACP: 2003

Reason for Going into Law Enforcement: My Dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather were police officers. I guess you could say it was in my blood. My dad, retried Major Charles DiPino of the Baltimore Police Department was and still is my hero. The stories he shared about his experiences made me want to be just like him. He helped people and risked his life to keep the community safe. He was happy and satisfied in his career. He loved being a police officer and so do I.

First Heard about IACP: I heard about the IACP from my dad and other Maryland chiefs. Fellow chiefs are the best advocates for recruiting membership. I wish I would have known about joining as a commander because there are so many benefits to being a member.

Becoming More Involved in IACP: The IACP provides so much for chiefs from brand new appointees to the tenured chiefs. The best practices standards and the training were the initial draw for me. Potential job opportunities, State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP), various committees, and the multitude of IACP initiates have kept me as a loyal member. The IACP not only is a must for your resume, but it provides a network of members who can help you solve problems and commiserate together over similar challenges. I have learned so much from my fellow IACP members and I hope I have been able to provide insight as well!

Favorite Part About Being in Law Enforcement: I love being able to make a positive difference in people’s lives every day. You see the best and the worst in people, but I am always impressed and inspired by the courage and dedication of police officers. I enjoy meeting new people especially the younger and older community members. I get to engage with and talk to people and solve problems, which ultimately makes our world a safer place. It is a challenging and rewarding occupation.

The Most Challenging Part of Law Enforcement: The most challenging part of my job is trying to make everyone happy. As one of the “tenured” chiefs I know it’s impossible, but I won’t stop trying! Personnel issues are challenging especially when you have to discipline or fire an officer. I take that role seriously because I have to ensure the trust in the community as well as be fair to my officers.

One Piece of Advice for the Leaders of Tomorrow: My one piece of advice is to get as much advice and counsel as possible before making an important decision. Just about everything you experience has happened to other chiefs. Join the IACP and your state chief’s association. The networking, information, and training you get will help you be the best leader and provide you with the tools you need to reach your goals and obtain success. Also take time for YOU! Schedule it on your calendar. Make sure you take care of yourself physically and mentally. Spend time with your family and friends, practice your spirituality, get a massage, practice your hobby or sports, do things away from the job. You need to take care of you before you can take care of your officers and community.

Name: John W. Mina IMG_7933

Title: Chief of Police

Agency: Orlando, Florida, Police Department

Year joined the IACP: 2013

Reason for Going into Law Enforcement: At a young age, I had two very different experiences with law enforcement. In the first one I was treated professionally and with kindness and compassion. In the second interaction, I felt the officer was unprofessional, and did not treat me with dignity and respect. Both interactions had a lasting effect. Later, when I decided to join the U.S. Army and become a Military Police Officer, I knew law enforcement was the profession that I wanted to pursue. Throughout my career, I always remembered the way I was treated by both officers.

First Heard about IACP: I heard about IACP when we hosted the conference in 1997 when I was a new Sergeant.

Becoming More Involved in IACP: IACP always seemed to be at the forefront of the law enforcement community, engaged with our lawmakers, and continually trying to advance the law enforcement profession. They play a huge role in determining and setting policy and best practices.

Favorite Part About Being in Law Enforcement: My favorite part of being in law enforcement is knowing that our community relies upon us to keep them safe. We are the ones who respond to situations that others are not equipped to handle, do not have the skills to handle, or are not capable of handling. Knowing that we are the ones that people feel safe around, that people call when they need help is an honor and very humbling.

The Most Challenging Part of Law Enforcement: The most challenging thing is the intense scrutiny that we are under. Law enforcement is expected to make split second decisions that happen in the blink of an eye. Our decisions must be the right ones, 100% of the time. Our officers do not have the luxury of watching a video repeatedly and then deciding what is the correct action They must act quickly in order to protect citizens, risk their own lives, and must be prepared to be scrutinized by their peers, supervisors, the community, and sometimes the nation.

One Piece of Advice for the Leaders of Tomorrow: I have a long list of advice and teaching moments that I give to newly promoted leaders, but here is one of the more important ones. The safety, health, and well-being of your officers and employees should be a priority. If they are not safe, they can’t keep their community safe. I also tell them the old leadership phrase I learned from my time in the military; Mission First, People Always.

Name: Charles R. Press PRESS

Title: Chief of Police

Agency: Village of Key Biscayne, Flordia, Police Department

Year joined the IACP: Early 1990s

Reason for Going into Law Enforcement: My father was an officer and I admired his dedication to duty.  He also started the first police athletic league (P.A.L.) in the state of Florida.  It taught me the value of giving back to the community.

First Heard about IACP: My first chief in Miami Beach was an IACP President.  Our chiefs were always involved in the organization and I was heavily involved in securing the IACP Annual Conference and Exposition when it came to Miami Beach.

Becoming More Involved in IACP: It is my sincere belief that the sharing of knowledge, education, and experience makes us all better at our jobs.  It is incumbent upon us, as leaders in our profession, to be the best we can be, and learning from others can only strengthen our skills and IACP can assist with that.

Favorite Part About Being in Law Enforcement: My parents taught me the value of doing the right thing and helping all people in need.  Those values have guided me for 42 years and knowing I have had the chance to change people’s lives for the better is priceless.

The Most Challenging Part of Law Enforcement: Trying to lead officers and maintain a high level of professionalism and morale during this difficult time.  Reminding them every day that we all took an oath to serve, and that oath is not based on pay scales, pension plans, or guarantees of our safety.  It is based on our dedication to the profession and the community we work in.

One Piece of Advice for the Leaders of Tomorrow: Stay the course, for ours is the most noble of professions.  Remember to lead by example, using both your heart and mind, to create a career based on fairness and integrity towards all those you come across.


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