City of San Diego launches search for new chief of police

By SDCN Editor

San Diego, CA–The City of San Diego is kicking off a robust process to recruit and hire a new chief of police for the San Diego Police Department, which will include a thorough outreach and community engagement effort to give San Diegans a voice in the hiring process along with a national search for a diverse pool of applicants who reflect the city’s priorities. 

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit, who was promoted to the top position in 2018, officially announced his retirement on November 13 and will complete his service in June 2024. Nisleit joined SDPD in 1988, following in the footsteps of his father, who also had a long career as a police officer with the department. 

 “I’m grateful to Chief Nisleit for his decades of dedicated service and his steady leadership of the department over the past five years,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. ”As we launch the search for his successor, we’ll look to community stakeholders to help us select someone with great integrity and a passion for public service who’s similarly committed to ensuring San Diego remains one of America’s safest big cities.” 

“It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve the City of San Diego during my 36 years with the San Diego Police Department,” said Nisleit. “Over the next seven months, I’m committed to continuing the great progress we’ve made toward keeping San Diego one of the safest big cities, and look forward to transitioning the department into the hands of the top-tier candidate who is selected to serve as the next police chief.” 

Bob Murray and Associates has been awarded the contract to handle the recruitment process for a new police chief, with the goal of having the new chief hired and on board in time for Nisleit’s departure. The firm specializes in executive recruitment for government positions, including law enforcement.  

The recruitment for qualified candidates begins today and the effort will include input from community members throughout the city, key stakeholders, and city officials. Community forums will be held in each of San Diego’s nine city council districts beginning in January.  

All San Diegans and community groups are invited to provide input on the ideal qualities and characteristics the new chief should embody. Language interpretation and translation services will be provided during the community forums and an online survey will be created to increase access for those who cannot attend. 

Candidates will undergo a series of interviews including one conducted by a panel of community leaders nominated by city council members and the mayor. 

The process to hire a new chief of police, outlined in Council Policy 300-08, calls for the mayor to appoint a candidate to be confirmed by the city council. 

For more information on the recruitment process and upcoming community meetings, visit the city’s police Chief Recruitment webpage

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