Delsa Bush: Former West Palm Beach police chief talks about past, future

Life for Delsa Bush after retirement

West Palm Beach -  Delsa Bush remembers the day her mother was shot during a domestic dispute and rushed to the hospital in 1975.

Deputies stayed with her and her siblings as doctors cared for her mother. "They fed us and they stayed with us, they bought us snacks from the machine, they played with my younger brother and it was myself and three other younger brothers. And I thought 'you know what, I was 13, I think I can do this, I want to be a policeman.' "

She fulfilled her dream. She graduated from the police academy, becoming the first African American female police officer in West Palm Beach.  She continued to rise through the ranks and at the same time graduated with a doctorate's degree from Lynn University.

Then mayor Lois Frankel made her the city's top cop in 2004.

Frankel left office in 2011. Bush says after that happened, she felt she did not have enough support. "I would be disingenuous to say that I was really ready to go, but because of the circumstances I felt that there was no option, except to go at that point you have to have a... there has to be... I had to have support from city administration and I don't feel that I had that at all."

Bush does not want to dwell on the past, but enjoy her retirement.

"It's been my privilege to serve West Palm Beach. West Palm Beach is still my passion, the officers are really, they are the love of my life."

She also has words of advice for the new police chief. "I wish him well and I really want him to bring in as much innovation as possible, live by his own standards."
 

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