Port of San Diego Harbor Police
Chief Magda Fernandez. Photo credit: Port of San Diego via Facebook

A new chief took charge of the San Diego Harbor Police Thursday, the first Latina to serve in the position.

Port of San Diego officials swore in Magda Fernandez to the agency’s top post during a ceremony at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier.

Also promoted during the event was Jeffrey Geary, whom Fernandez tapped to serve as her assistant chief.

“Chief Fernandez and Assistant Chief Geary are committed to community policing and public safety on our bayfront and throughout the region,” said San Diego Port President and CEO Joe Stuyvesant.

“Their diverse and broad experience, training and skill sets will serve them well in their new roles, and we look forward to the continued excellence and evolution of the Harbor Police Department with them at the helm.”

Fernandez rose to become acting chief of the agency after holding the position of acting assistant chief from November 2021 to February.

The former interim chief, Kirk Nichols, suffered minor injuries in a February crash in Jamul that killed his wife.

Fernandez has led various units in the department, including investigations and intelligence, and professional standards and training, as well as its patrol and administrative sections, according to a biography supplied by the department.

Her service in the U.S. Coast Guard included stints as a criminal investigator and an environmental and marine casualty investigator. Earlier, she was an emergency medical technician, and a rescue diver with the Santa Cruz Search and Rescue Team.

Geary most recently has overseen the department’s administrative operations, including criminal investigations, internal affairs, homeland security, training, communications, special events and special teams.

His career with the agency also has included stints commanding its patrol operations and serving as a police field supervisor, watch commander, dive team supervisor and field training officer.

– City News Service