Is the "thin blue line" eroding in America's Finest City?

New Chief: "I'm Able to Hit the Ground Running"

As she takes on the role of chief, Zimmerman will be working through recent scandals involving SDPD officers accused of sexual misconduct on the job

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Diego's first female police chief Shelley Zimmerman talks with NBC 7's Marianne Kushi on Friday, March 7, 2014.

    San Diego’s first female police chief Shelley Zimmerman spoke with NBC 7 Friday about her priorities as she takes office.

    Zimmerman, who was approved by the San Diego City Council Tuesday, is a 31-year veteran with the department who served as Assistant Chief under former chief William Lansdowne.

    On Friday, she addressed those community activists and residents – specifically the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) - who have been critical of the speed in which she was chosen as the new chief.

    “It’s all about working together,” Zimmerman said. “It’s critically important that we meet with all of our communities.”

    Council Confirms New SDPD Chief

    [DGO] Council Confirms New SDPD Chief
    The San Diego City Council confirmed the appointment of new SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman -- the first-ever female police chief in the history of the city. NBC 7's Gene Cubbison reports.

    The new chief will be meeting with the NAACP and ACLU Monday to discuss their concerns.

    Zimmerman added that the department averages approximately 140 community meetings each month.

    Read: Who Is New SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman?

    Days after Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Zimmerman was his choice to replace Lansdowne as top cop, NBC 7 news and other media outlets learned the new chief would be retiring within four years under requirements of the department's Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP).

    Lansdowne Talks New SDPD Chief

    [DGO] Lansdowne Talks New SDPD Chief
    SDPD Asst. Chief Shelley Zimmerman was named the new chief of the SDPD at a briefing on Feb. 26, 2014. Here, retiring Chief William Lansdowne talks about why Zimmerman is the right choice to lead the department after his departure.

    Zimmerman told NBC 7 Friday that the mayor knew about her enrollment in DROP when he selected her.

    “About half of our police department is eligible for retirement in the next four years. That’s why it’s critically important that I’m able to hit the ground running,” she said.

    “I have a very keen sense of what needs to be done from all the different departments,” Zimmerman said. “In less than 48 hours, I’ve already hit the ground running.”

    As she takes on the role of chief, Zimmerman will be working through recent scandals involving SDPD officers accused of sexual misconduct on the job.

    This includes the case of former Officer Christopher Hays, 30, accused of inappropriate interaction with women while on duty. Last month, Hays pleaded not guilty to charges of false imprisonment and sexual battery.

    There’s also the case of SDPD Officer Donald Moncrief, 39, who is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with female detainees that may have included exposing himself to a woman while on duty. No charges have been filed against Moncrief.

    Zimmerman has said she supports the proposed plan to have an outside audit of the SDPD conducted in order to review department practices and training policies in the wake of the misconduct scandals plaguing the SDPD.