• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

Danita Pettis elected Sentinel Police Association President

By Dan Yount

The Cincinnati Herald

Cincinnati Police Department Captain Danita Pettis has been elected president of The Sentinel Police Association for 2022-2024, succeeding outgoing President Officer Louis Arnold.

Pettis is a 23-year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Department, who grew up in Winton Terrace and Avondale. After graduating from the Police Academy in 1999, she was assigned to District 4 Patrol. She is current Commander of District 2, which oversees 14 Cincinnati neighborhoods. She says one of her greatest accomplishments was being promoted to police captain. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science, Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish, all earned at the University of Cincinnati. She has received a number of honors and awards throughout her career with the Cincinnati Police Department.

Pettis said a few goals she will be striving for during her tenure as the Sentinel President are:

  • To work with the City to increase diversity in the hiring, promotion, and fair treatment of minorities on the Cincinnati Police Department. 
  • To work with the City to seek out best practices for ensuring the police department mirrors the demographics of the community it serves.
  • To work with the community and local city government on continued police reform efforts.
  • To work with the community leaders to seek out ways to decrease youth violence in the City of Cincinnati

Other Sentinel officers are Officer Sabreen Robinson, Vice President; Officer Nedra Ward, Second VP; Officer Toni Nash, Treasurer; Sergeant Linda Sellers, Business Manager; Ret. Officer Patricia Simpson, Recording Secretary; Sergeant Anthony Mitchell, Chaplain; Officer Kevin Sorrells, 2nd Chaplain; Officer David Dozier, Sergeant at Arms; and Officer Darryl Tyus, 2nd Sergeant at Arms.

Cincinnati Vice Mayor Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney (center) with newly elected Sentinel Police Association President Captain Danita Pettis (left) and outgoing President Officer Louis Arnold (right).

In the late 1960s it was recognized that an organized group of Black police officers was needed to address the issues of racism, hiring, promotions and disciplinary actions pertaining to Cincinnati’s African American police officers. The Sentinel Police Association was established in 1968 by a handful of courageous African American police officers. During the turbulent times of the late 1960s and early 1970s, SPA founders witnessed firsthand the way Black citizens were treated by police. These actions prompted the members to take action. Police reform, police corruption, police brutality and racial discrimination were primary issues the SPA addressed.

Today, the SPA mission has been expanded, with the SPA members working hard to improve police/community relations. The SPA monitors and evaluates policies and programs within the criminal justice system and the effect they have on the community at large.     Since its inception, 12 people have served as president of SPA: Arthur Harmon Sr., Wendell Young, Roger Davis, Michael Cureton, Cheryl T. Thomas, Scott (Scotty) Johnson, Gene Seay, Carolyn A. Wilson, Phillip Black, Eddie Hawkins, Louis Arnold Sr., and current President, Danita W.  Pettis.