Faulconer names Zimmerman as next SDPD chief - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Faulconer names Zimmerman as next SDPD chief

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Incoming Mayor Kevin Faulconer Wednesday named Assistant Chief Shelley Zimmerman as the next chief of the San Diego Police Department.

Zimmerman, currently an assistant chief, will succeed William Lansdowne,who announced his resignation Tuesday and is scheduled to step down on Monday.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on the appointment next week, making Zimmerman the city's first female police chief.  It would also make San Diego the biggest current U.S. city to have a woman as its top cop.

"The San Diego Police Department needs leadership now,'' Faulconer said. "Chief Zimmerman is a 31-year veteran, and she's ready to lead.''

Lansdowne told reporters it was time to step down after 10 years in the job, and that he believes Zimmerman is the right choice.

The SDPD has been beset by allegations of sexual misconduct and other wrongdoing by a handful of officers over the past year, as well as budget issues that resulted in problems retaining officers.

Zimmerman said she was grateful for the opportunity to lead the department and thanked Lansdowne for placing her in a leadership role. She also fired a shot across the bow of prospective "bad apples.''

"I can tell you without question that 99.9 percent of our officers serve every single day with honor, with distinction and professionalism,'' Zimmerman said. "And for those few that make the absolute terrible decision to discredit this badge and dishonor our profession, I will not tolerate this.''

She said she supports a proposed outside audit of the department.

The 54-year-old Zimmerman has been with the San Diego Police Department for 31 years and would be its 34th chief.

City and county leaders released statements of support Wednesday following Zimmerman's appointment.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria:

"Shelley Zimmerman is a well-respected leader with 31 years of service at the San Diego Police Department, and I know she will do a fine job as San Diego's police chief.
 
"The selection of a police chief is one of the most important decisions a mayor can make. It was my hope that a national search would be performed that included significant community input in advance of this decision.
 
"San Diego is a diverse City with people of different ethnicities, nationalities, sexual orientations, and economic backgrounds who have unique perspectives on law enforcement and crime prevention. I wanted them to have a say in making sure that our Police Department appropriately reflected the communities it serves.  As we look to fill vacancies throughout the ranks, I am committed to ensuring the Mayor-Elect and our new police chief fill our Police Department with diverse professionals to serve our citizens."

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis:

"I've worked with Assistant Chief Zimmerman for many years and she's an excellent choice to lead the San Diego Police Department at this critical time when public trust must be restored. She's well-known in the community, well-qualified to lead the department and has been a trusted partner with the District Attorney's Office in the pursuit of justice.  Choosing Shelley Zimmerman ensures that a serious review and resolution of any problems at SDPD will occur quickly. I applaud Mayor-elect Faulconer for moving quickly and for choosing the first woman Chief of Police in San Diego history.  I know Chief Zimmerman will bring a unique perspective to the job which will serve her, and the citizens of San Diego well."

Sheriff Bill Gore:

"I've worked with Assistant Chief Zimmerman on many projects and have nothing but the utmost respect for her experience, insight, and professionalism," said Sheriff Gore. "I have no doubt Assistant Chief Zimmerman will continue the San Diego Police Department's tradition of collaboration and will lead the department into a new era of policing."

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