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OPINION CAN DIPINO REIN IN OUR OUT-OF-CONTROL POLICE FORCE? EDITORIAL The New Year dawned with a new chief at the helm of the Sarasota Police Department. Bernadette DiPino, a third-generation cop and formerly police chief in Ocean City, MD, took on a department tainted by scandal and feared by many of the very citizens it was intended to protect. inspection was interrupted when a female police officer approached them, service weapon drawn, and forced the realtor and her client to lie facedown on the concrete carport. The officer kept her weapon pointed at them as she called for backup. When that backup arrived, several of the other officers also had their weapons drawn, apparently to ensure that two helpless, prostrate and unarmed citizens would not somehow overpower the assembled armed personnel. Perhaps that is why DiPino, in what those who know her describe as her characteristically gung-ho style, took to the streets a day early, riding patrols and keeping the peace on New Year's Eve. The first question that occurs to us in the conAnother person working that day was realtor templation of this sad saga is why an officer Susan Christy, taking advantage of the balmy responded alone to a report of a burglary in weather to show a prospective client a home progress. Why take a chance that she might for sale in midtown. They parked in the Publix encounter heavily armed resistance, with polot off Tamiami Trail and walked over to the tentially tragic results, when she simply could house just west of South Shade Street. Their have waited for backup?

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