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City Council To Hear Public Feedback On New Police Chief Appointment

San Diego police Capt. David Nisleit briefs reporters about a string of attac...

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: San Diego police Capt. David Nisleit briefs reporters about a string of attacks on homeless men, July 7, 2016.

City Council To Hear Public Feedback On New Police Chief Appointment


David Nisleit, police chief nominee, city of San Diego

Residents will be able to offer feedback on the appointment of David Nisleit as the city's next top cop during two City Council meetings later this month, council President Myrtle Cole announced Friday.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer on Thursday named Nisleit, a current assistant San Diego police chief, as the successor to Chief Shelley Zimmerman following a nationwide search.

Nisleit's appointment must be confirmed by a majority council vote.

The public hearings are scheduled for Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. and Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 202 C St. However, on Friday Faulconer sent Cole a memo requesting the Feb. 12 meeting be moved to 6 p.m. On Twitter, the mayor's office said he asked for the change "so more San Diegans can attend and have their voices heard."

The council will take a vote on the matter on Feb. 26.

RELATED: City Announces New Police Chief

Though the search process included non-binding input from a panel of community members, which chose Nisleit as its top pick, critics contend that the process relied on non-public backroom deliberations.

Councilman David Alvarez said he would push for greater transparency during the council's proceedings with Nisleit.

"The public needs to hear detailed plans from the chief on how he will address the police department's staffing crisis," he said. "Unlike the secret panels established to conduct the search, the confirmation process for the new chief must be transparent."

RELATED: San Diego’s New Police Chief: How We Got Here

The community board, as well as one made up of law enforcement and other professionals, interviewed a half-dozen finalists from across the country. The names of those runner-up candidates were withheld to protect their privacy, according to a spokesman for the mayor.

The names of those appointed to the two review boards were released Thursday by the mayor's office.

Nisleit, 52, a three-decade veteran of the San Diego police force, said his top priorities include achieving full department staffing by casting a "wide net" for recruits while focusing on local, diverse candidates and continuing to bolster community-policing programs.

RELATED: San Diego Leaders React To Appointment Of New Police Chief David Nisleit

There are currently more than 200 vacant positions in the department, which has not been fully staffed in over a decade.

Faulconer and Nisleit agree that a recently negotiated police contract featuring higher pay coupled with a national marketing effort will help fill those positions.

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