David Nisleit was sworn in Tuesday as San Diego’s police chief, a job he will officially begin on Friday.
Nisleit, a three-decade veteran of the San Diego Police Department, was confirmed by the City Council on Monday. He was selected by Mayor Kevin Faulconer earlier this month to succeed Chief Shelley Zimmerman, who is set to retire on March 1.
“I am blessed and humbled to be the 35th police chief of the San Diego Police Department,” Nisleit said at Tuesday morning’s ceremony. “I look forward to working with the City Council and everyone in the community in making San Diego the safest large city in the United States.”
Nisleit will lead the department during a time when crime in the city is at its lowest rate in decades. But he has big tasks ahead. Among them is filling more than 250 vacant police officer positions.
“Today marks a new era for the San Diego Police Department,” Faulconer said.
Nisleit said he’s confident that a recently approved police contract and a new retention and recruitment plan will help the department get back to full staffing in the first time in a decade. He’s hoping to fill the vacancies largely with local candidates — those who are already committed to the San Diego community. That fits in with one of his other priorities of bolstering the department’s community policing program, which means more officers walking the beat in business districts and forging lasting bonds with community leaders.
Nisleit has served in the department’s gang, robbery, narcotics, homicide, sex crimes, SWAT, internal affairs and special operations units.
Nisleit currently makes $147,790. His salary as chief will be $205,000.
—City News Service