Columbia Police Department Deputy Chief Dianne Bernhard announced her retirement on Thursday. Bernhard accepted an offer to be the Executive Director of Concerns of Police Survivors, a national organization that provides resources for families and co-workers of police officers killed in duty.
Bernhard has worked for Columbia Police Department for 21 years; she was hired in 1992, and promoted to Deputy Chief in 2012. Bernhard said it’s an honor to work with Columbia Police Department, and the experience she earned there would help her work in the future.
“I don’t think we could’ve asked for a better deputy chief.” said Assistant chief Shelly Jones.
Bernhard said she learned about the Concerns of Police Department, when her co-worker Molly Bowden was killed in duty in 2005. It assisted the Columbia Police Department as well as Bowden’s family. Since then, she said she’s wanted to be part of it.
Madeline Neumann, National President of Concerns of Police Survivors, said Bernhard has competed for the position with 51 other candidates. Bernhard won the position because her experience and background fits very well with what the organization looking for.
Bernhard was offered the position on Feb. 8, after a National Concerns of Police Survivors Board Meeting held in Osage Beach, MO. Bernhard said she talked to the board about the decision for about a week, and she officially accepted the position Thursday morning.
Bernhard’s term will start on March 2014. According to Bernhard, the new Deputy Chief for Columbia Police Department has not been selected yet, Bernhard is training her assistant now to make the transition after she leave.