'Humbled and honored' Cianni appointed new Dickinson police chief

Police Chief Joe Cianni thanks the Dickinson City Commission following his appointment as chief for Dickinson Police Department.
Photo by Allison Engstrom / The Dickinson Press

DICKINSON - For the first time in more than a decade, The Dickinson Police Department has a new leader in its ranks, as Joe Cianni was named the city's new police chief following a unanimous vote by the city commissioners on Tuesday.

As police chief, Cianni will oversee a staff of 65 consisting of the Animal Shelter, a Records Division, an Investigative Division, three Patrol Divisions, the Drug Task Force and the PSAP Center, which services over 27 public safety agencies.

“I am both humbled and honored to be given and trusted with this role to lead the fine men and women of the Dickinson Police department into the future and serve this community in the capacity that they have grown accustomed to over the years,” Cianni said.

A total of three candidates were considered for the position, two of which were internal applicants.

Both Mayor Scott Decker and Dustin Dassinger described the three candidates as strong and solid applicants.


“We did have three very solid candidates that I think made every panel think a little bit differently,” Mayor Decker said, “ the end Chief Cianni shined through.”

The application process included three interview committees which consisted of the executive team, a law enforcement panel and a community panel. The rankings from each panel were shared with Mayor Decker and Dassinger and taken into consideration while they interviewed the three candidates.

“It's a good problem to have when you have very strong candidates to decide on and it doesn't make it easy as far as the decision,” Dassinger said, “...through the process Joe definitely did a very good job.”

Cianni, a longtime Dickinson Police Department officer, has been serving as interim police chief since March 2022 after taking over as interim police chief when Dassinger assumed the role of city administrator last year.

Dassinger spoke highly of Joe Cianni's appointment as the new police chief. According to Dassinger, Cianni possesses the necessary qualities and characteristics to effectively lead the Dickinson Police Department and serve the community.

“I think he will do an excellent job in our community leading the men and women of the Dickinson Police Department,” Dassinger said.

One of the reasons for Dassinger's confidence in Cianni is his transparent and approachable nature. With an open-door policy, Cianni has earned the trust of his staff members, who feel comfortable talking to him and seeking his guidance. This type of leadership will be critical in ensuring that the department continues to serve the community effectively and efficiently.

“As the police chief you are the face of the department, obviously law enforcement has changed greatly over the years, but still one of the biggest factors that remains very important is community policing,” Dassinger said.


With Joe Cianni officially transitioning into his new role as the police chief of Dickinson, former police chief Dustin Dassinger offered some valuable insights and advice gathered from his 11 years of experience in the role.

Dassinger commented on the importance of being involved in community activities, attending meetings with stakeholders, and just being active in representing the department while maintaining strong relationships with the men and women of the Dickinson Police Department.

Cianni expressed his gratitude for the trust placed in him by the city and its residents. He acknowledged the high expectations that come with the role and expressed his hope that he will live up to them.

“I do appreciate it and the trust that you guys have given to me and I hope I live up to the expectations” Cianni said.

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