Serving the community since 1970

Burnett is Cinco de Mayo Grand Marshal

Retired Assistant Chief of Police Diana Burnett will lead this year's Cinco de Mayo Festival.

Burnett was delighted by the festival committee's announcement and thinks that it is a huge honor.

"I am so surprised and really humbled by their decision," said Burnett. She said that she has always loved the festival and is looking forward to being a part of it.

"I have worked it so many years, and I just love all of the colors, the dancing, music and the wonderful time that the community has at it."

Burnett will ride in the parade and will be there for the festivities at Mannel Park after the parade.

The longtime law enforcement leader began her career with the Police Department in 1992, eager to make a difference in a city that was growing and had a vision in which public safety was a top priority. Burnett would go on to become the highest ranking female officer in the department's history, being named assistant chief over two years ago.

Burnett said that she was continuously humbled by the accolades that were bestowed upon her, being an award for arrests, or recognition for her trail-blazing career that has opened up so many opportunities for women in the department. Burnett said that she was just taking advantage of opportunities made available to her because of women before her that had the courage to break those barriers.

Burnett was promoted to senior officer in 1996 and to sergeant just two years later in 1998. She kept moving up through the ranks and became a lieutenant in 2014.

Later, as a captain, Burnett also volunteered to represent the department with the Kern County Domestic Violence Law Enforcement Committee and in the City of Shafter Emergency Operations Center as press information officer.

Burnett said that she has grown along with the community, each making the other better. "I started here when the population was around 7,000 people; technology was nothing like we have today, but the one constant is the people. The people have always been great and that is what makes this city so special. I love this city and especially its amazing people."

Burnett said that she is enjoying her retirement, spending time with her parents, taking long walks with her dogs and getting to those things around the house that she never seemed to have time for. But she still donates her time to various service organizations and events, such as volunteering at the recent Colours Festival and other local events.

Burnett is a great choice for this honor, according to Cinco de Mayo Committee's Deanna Rodriguez-Root, "with her heart for the city of Shafter and the wonderful people in it."


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