Derek Dieter is a trusted, respected, and accessible St. Joe County resident committed to positively representing the citizens of our community.

Derek grew up on Portage Ave – in fact, he has lived in five houses on Portage Ave during his lifetime. First, 756 when his father Richard J. Dieter started Portage Avenue Foot Clinic there in 1960. Derek has also lived at 1127, 1135, 1829 and still resides on Portage Ave today. 

He attended Holy Cross in the 1960s and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1974. He attended Holy Cross Junior College and later graduated from Indiana University South Bend where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. 

He began his career as a cadet on the South Bend Police Department in 1975. He became a sworn officer in 1978 and retired from the South Bend Police Department in February of 2014. He has been honored with numerous awards from the department including being named “Policeman Of The Year” twice. He was awarded the 1989 Exchange Club Officer of Year and the 1998 American Legion Post 50 Officer of Year as well.

Dieter is also a former three-term South Bend City Councilman. Derek was elected twice as the Council Person of the 1st District in 2003, 2007, and as At-Large in 2011. He served as the South Bend Council President for five years. Dieter is proud of his record and has kept involved with local causes. 

Dieter cares deeply about inner-city, South Bend youth and stays involved as the Founder of the IMPALA youth athletic program. It is an outreach program from COPE – Community Oriented Police Enforcement. He and other volunteers have even taken kids from South Bend all the way to Washington D.C. to teach them about public affairs and inspire them in the nation’s capital.  

Dieter promoted youth literacy through the “Get Booked” program where he and volunteers would pass out books from the trunk of police cars to build relationships with the area children. 

Currently, he is the owner and CEO of Dieter Security on Portage Road. Derek met his wife of 29 years, Suzy, in Chicago. She was a Division 1 basketball player at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Suzy worked for 16 years as a police officer and now has her own painting business, Suzy Dieter Home. They have three sons and two daughters.

Honors & Awards

165 Letters of Commendation for Outstanding Work in the Field of Law Enforcement
30 Letters of Citizen Recognition
7 Congressional Letters of Recognition
4 Resolutions from the South Bend City Council
3 Mayoral Proclamations
2 Letters of St. Joseph Prosecutor Recognition
3 Mayoral Letters of Recognition
2 Letters from St. Joseph County Prosecutor

2013: City Council Record for 5 Consecutive Years as President

2008: South Bend Police Department; Community Oriented Policing Partnership Award 

2005: South Bend Police Department; Community Problem Solving Award 

2001: St. Joseph High School; The Brother James Linscott C.S.C. Award for distinguished service to the community, the Church, and the nation. 

1999: South Bend Police Department; Police Officer of the Year 

1998: American Legion Police Officer of the Year; Community Oriented Police Enforcement 

1999: Charles Martin Center; Red Ribbon Award for Community Service by Charles Martin Center; Community Oriented Police Enforcement 

1998: Ameritech Company; National Hero Award of Excellence Program, One of 25 in the United States 

1997: National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO); National Award of Merit Innovation for Resident Services 

1996: National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO)

1996: Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Henry Cisneros; National SOCCER Start Program by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development

The IMPALA Athletic Program was honored by HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros as a National Model for the “Soccer Start” program. Soccer Start was an initiative to begin soccer in the inner cities of American. Congressman Tim Roemer invited 18 members of this program for a 3 day trip to Washington DC to meet with Mr. Cisneros. The trip was filmed as a documentary by WNDU-TV. 

1995: National Youth Sports Program at the University of Notre Dame; Mentor, team leader, baseball and soccer coach 

1994: American Red Cross Hall of Fame; Life-saving incident 

1994: National Youth Sports Program at the University of Notre Dame; Outstanding mentor, along with work as Team leader, baseball and soccer coach

1990: South Bend Police Department; Police Officer of the Year

1989: South Bend Exchange Club Officer of the Year 

1983: United States Justice Department, Drug Enforcement Agency; Drug Enforcement Administration Award; for Outstanding Work in the Field of Drug Enforcement