It's wasn’t a room of officers or politicians.
Lots of everyday people packed the Jacobs Center in Encanto to talk about what characteristics they'd like to see in the new San Diego police chief when Shelley Zimmerman retires next March.
The City says the job recruiter will take the community's recommendations to use it in its job description and interview process.
Donna Alexander, a social worker for the city, explained why she feels it's important to choose someone who is familiar with San Diego.
"Somebody that doesn't know San Diego or doesn't know the community, they have to come here and learn all that? No, we have plenty of people here, and I’m sure within the ranks who already know all that,” she told NBC 7.
Saturday’s community meeting was the first of six, a process that will continue through February when the city council confirms the new police chief.
The search is national, though some people at the meeting advocated that the candidate should come from San Diego County.
“It should be an appointment of someone that's going to come in with boots on the ground and get in there and work with the officers,” Alexander said.