Community input wanted for Chief Zimmerman's replacement - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Community input wanted for Chief Zimmerman's replacement

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Four community meetings will be held in San Diego to take public input on selection of a new police chief, the city announced Tuesday.

San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman is scheduled to step down in March next year because of her participation in a deferred retirement program. Mayor Kevin Faulconer was aware of her status when he appointed her to lead the SDPD three years ago.

"Our next police chief must build on her commitment to excellence and continue to forge strong bonds with our neighborhoods," Faulconer said.

"The police chief serves all of San Diego so we want everyone to have a chance to participate in the selection process," he said. "I am encouraging San Diegans to attend these community forums so the public's voice is heard."

The forums are scheduled for:

-- Sept. 21, Standley Recreation Center, 3585 Governor Drive;

-- Sept. 23, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, 404 Euclid Ave.;

-- Sept. 26, Mira Mesa Senior Center, 8460 Mira Mesa Blvd.; and

-- St. Paul's Cathedral, 2728 Sixth Ave.

The meetings will begin at 6 p.m., with the exception of the Jacobs Center event, which will start at 1 p.m.

"I look forward to the upcoming recruitment and selection process for the new San Diego police chief," said City Council President Myrtle Cole. "I am eager to receive community input so we can decide on an individual who will continue effective community policing strategies."

City officials said they plan to select an executive recruitment firm early next month. Also in September, a survey form will be placed on the city's website in order to receive more community comment.

The tentative timeline calls for candidate interviews in December and January, with the mayor choosing a new chief by the end of January. The City Council would hold a confirmation hearing in February.

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