Best Bush in Executive Office Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2004 - West Palm Beach Police Chief Delsa Bush
Not Dubya. Not Jeb. Delsa. The 43-year-old single mother of two was recently installed as the new chief of police for West Palm Beach. That makes her the first woman and the first African-American to serve as the city's top cop. Essentially the CEO of the largest municipal department in Palm Beach County, Chief Bush is responsible for overseeing a $40 million budget and a staff of 281 sworn officers, 111 civilians, and three K-9s. Bush, who moved to Palm Beach County from Mississippi at age 4, helped raise her six brothers and sisters while her single mother packed tomatoes in local fields. At age 14, Bush was inspired to become a law enforcement officer when her mother was shot by an irate lover in Lantana and sheriff's deputies responded to the family with remarkable kindness. She put herself through college and joined the West Palm Beach police force in 1983 -- becoming its first female African-American officer. This year, Bush's department is expected to process 42,300 police reports, recover 1,050 stolen cars, seize 803,448 grams of narcotics, and get 6,000 kids to attend police-sponsored talent shows on Saturday nights. When not out busting bad guys, the chief does her homework: She is pursuing a doctorate in educational services at Lynn University.