Contact: Officer Latisha Stroer
Public Information Officer
COLUMBIA POLICE DEPARTMENT DEPUTY CHIEF ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT
Deputy Chief Dianne Bernhard has announced her retirement from the Columbia Police Department after serving the citizens of Columbia for over 21 years. Deputy Chief Bernhard leaves us to accept a position as the Executive Director of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.). This national organization exists to provide support for families and co-workers affected by the loss of an officer killed in the line of duty. The organization also provides training for officers and departments on addressing the needs of agency personnel who experience the traumas associated with the law enforcement profession. For more information on C.O.P.S., visit www.nationalcops.org
Bernhard was hired in October of 1992. She worked as a patrol officer, detective and community police officer until being promoted to Sergeant in 1997. As a Sergeant she had assignments supervising patrol officers, an investigative unit, and the Community Action Team. While supervising the Youth Services Unit, she served as the President of the Missouri School Resource Officer Association.
In 2007, Bernhard was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant where she was responsible for patrol operations during the day and evening shifts. During that time she worked with community members and other agencies to create the Mid-Missouri Crisis Intervention Team. She also created a Leadership Academy for new supervisors. In 2009, Bernhard was promoted to Captain and served as a Patrol Commander and Admin. Support Captain. In 2012, Bernhard was promoted to Deputy Chief.
Bernhard says, "I am honored to have been a part of the Columbia Police Department serving this incredible community. I am proud to have worked alongside the dedicated men and women of this department. It has been an amazing experience. I am now excited about my opportunity to be part of the extraordinary C.O.P.S. organization."
Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton said, "I am very proud of Deputy Chief Bernhard's richly deserved success and grateful for the superior work she has done over the last 20 years for the Columbia Police Department. I wish her the very best in this exciting new chapter of her life and career."