Sarasota PD chief's daughter shot in the line of duty, expected to make full recovery

Sarasota Police Department Chief Bernadette DiPino put the minds of concerned community members at ease Tuesday, weeks after her daughter was shot in the line of duty.

Officer Tabitha Hays was shot May 2 by a fellow officer during an apparent suicide-by-cop incident in Baltimore County, Maryland. After several weeks of recovery, Chief DiPino says her daughter is expected to make a full recovery.

In a video posted on the Sarasota Police Department's Twitter account, DiPino said it's been a "horrific situation" after getting "a phone call that a mother never wants to receive about a police officer, especially your own daughter."

But the chief said the outpouring of community support helped her family get through the difficult time.

"I'm happy to report to you that she's home and expected to make a full recovery," she said.

Hays is a fifth-generation law enforcement officer. Her mother, Chief DiPino, began her career the same as her daughter - at the Baltimore County Police Department.

Hays was named Officer of the Year for Baltimore County Police District 8 in 2016.

DiPino is the first woman to hold the position of chief of police of the Sarasota Police Department.

"My dad was a police officer, and my grandfather, and my great grandfather," Chief DiPino told News4JAX in 2015. "So I had law enforcement in my blood. It's something I wanted to do ever since I was a little girl."