Dianne Sharpe Heads Reidsville's Police Department, Making History - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/27/05

Dianne Sharpe Heads Reidsville's Police Department, Making History

The promotion of a Reidsville police officer is ushering in big changes in the county seat of Tattnall county. The first minority woman to wear a Police uniform there is now the chief.

The wheels are whirling at City Hall. As Dianne Sharpe writes a police policy manual, she writes history too. As six months as interim chief, she now heads Reidsville's police department permanently.

"The mayor and council informed me during the last council meeting that they had voted to make me the chief. I was happy and proud." she said. "I've accomplished something no one else has as a woman and as a black woman. I made history."

In two tenures, she's served the city nearly 20 years, starting as a dispatcher in 1980. After earning her certification as a Peace Officer, Sharpe continued as a dispatcher until a fellow officer passed away and she hit the streets and almost immediately shifted to night patrol all by herself.

The chief says her two immediate goals are decreasing drugs and, in a motherly tone increasing pride among the officers. "I don't want shoes in here scratched up and not shined because the public looks and judges what you look like and I want us to look good because it reflects on the department!" she stated emphatically.

Since minority women lead fewer than one percent of Georgia's Police Departments, she doesn't take her trailblazing role lightly.

I'm proud to serve the people. Reidsville means a whole lot to me. Lot of people don't like where they live. I love where I live.

In between her terms with the police department, Sharpe also worked for the Georgia Department of Corrections. As a teenager, she was among the first students to integrate Reidsville High School in 1970.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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