Dover Police Chief Appointee Speaks with Media - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Police Chief Appointee Speaks with Media

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - The Dover Police Department earlier this week announced Major Paul Barnet as the pick to be its new chief. He's taking over for Chief Jim Hosfelt, whose last day is April 4.

Bernat spoke with media Friday. The soon-to-be chief talked about his ideas and goals for the department. And he took a number of questions about allegations of brutality and Dover PD's relationship with the African-American community after multiple allegations of brutality over the past half year, including one that led to the suspension of a department corporal.

"I can assure you that the African-American community has my support. I will continue to build upon what Chief Hosfelt has already created," he said.

Bernat's pick for deputy chief is African-American. He was asked how that might affect relations with the city's African-American community.

"It's definitely not going to hurt. That is not why I think he is here - if that's the question you are asking me."

Bernat says he could see the Dover PD' adding diversity training in the future.

On his vision for the department, Bernat says he wants to see more focus on drugs. He plans to shift resources that direction.

"With our robberies down five compared to last year and our burglaries down 30 compared to last year, we have decided to take a detective and add him to a tactical team."

Bernat says the majority of crime in Dover is drug related. He's putting dealers on notice.

"If you are a drug dealer," he said. "You need to take your trade out of the city of Dover."

Bernat says he only plans to be chief for three years. Then he'll retire and let someone else take over. By city ordinance, that person has to be, as was the case with Bernat, promoted from within the department.

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