Bernie was born October 21, 1934 to Clergyman Milton W. and Mary Ellen (Olohan) Dills of Council Bluffs, Iowa. During 1943, the family moved to Cincinnati. He attended Withrow High School. He was regularly active in extracurriculars, including Student Council where he served as Vice President in his senior year. He graduated in 1952.
From 1952 to 1956, Bernie worked as a bookkeeper for the National Lead Company on Freeman Avenue. He married Barbara Jean Taylor on July 17, 1954. In 1956 he went to work for the Crosley Division of Avco as a mechanical inspector.
Bernie joined the Cincinnati Police Division on September 9, 1957, as a Police Recruit. He was promoted to Patrolman on January 6, 1958, issued Badge 93, and assigned to District 6 (3295 Erie Avenue). On June 14, 1959, he was rotated to District 2 (314 Broadway) and again a year later to District 7 (813 Beecher Street). Patrolman Dills transferred back to District 6 in 1964. He was one of the first group of officers promoted to the new rank of Police Specialist on February 27, 1966 and issued Badge PS-93. On October 30, 1966, he was promoted to Sergeant, issued Badge S-18, and reassigned to District 7. Five years later, Sergeant Dills was transferred to the Community Relations Bureau. He graduated from the National Crime Prevention Institute at the University of Louisville in 1972. During March 1978, he was elected President of the new Ohio Crime Prevention Association. Sergeant Dills also served in District 4 (4150 Reading Road), Operations Bureau, and Community Assistance Section. He was promoted to Lieutenant on March 3, 1980, issued Badge L-51, and reassigned to Erie Avenue, by then District 2. Lieutenant Dills also served in the Services Bureau, Community Assistance Section, and Technical Services Bureau. Lieutenant Dills retired on March 1, 1987.
Two weeks later, he was rehired as an Administrative Assistant II and Burglar Alarm Coordinator. He resigned March 30, 1994, with 36 years of service and 55 letters of appreciation and/or commendation.
Lieutenant Dills also served as an elder at Mt. Washington Church of Christ/Parkside Christian and as a high school baseball umpire.
On August 16, 1998, Lieutenant and Mrs. Dills joined the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society as two of its original board of directors.
During 2010, they moved to Bradenton, Florida.
Lieutenant Dills died peacefully, surrounded by family, on March 25, 2022.
Lieutenant Dills is survived by his wife of 67 years, Barbara Jean (Taylor) Dills; children, Jeffrey Dills and Julie Fried; and grandchildren, Brittany Fried, Zachary Fried, Deborah Morningstar, Ben Dills, and Scott Dills; four great-grandchildren; and sister, Karen Ponchot.
Visitation will be held 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Parkside Christian Church at 6986 Salem Road in Cincinnati. An FOP service will be held at 11 a.m. with a memorial service to follow.
Memorials may be made to Parkside Christian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, or the Christian Village at Mason.
© 2022 – All rights reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum