San Diego's new Chief of Police David Nisleit said he feels honored, blessed and humbled to lead the department.
Nisleit took the oath Tuesday at the department's downtown headquarters with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer officiating.
"He has been and will continue to be a person who leads by example and with the utmost integrity," Faulconer said adding, "Are you ready, Chief?"
Nisleit described the moment as surreal.
"It is truly an honor and I'm blessed and humbled to be the 35th Police Chief of the San Diego Police Department," he said.
Nisleit previously served as an assistant chief and led the department's gang unit, SWAT and northern, western and mid-city divisions.
He's also led the planning and operational safety of more than 1,000 special events in the city including high-profile events like San Diego Comic-Con International and the Women’s March.
He has said his priorities as chief will include restoring SDPD staffing levels back to "full strength" and keeping crime rates low in San Diego's communities.
Currently, there are more than 200 vacant positions in the department.
With full staffing, Nisleit said the department would be able to improve its response times.
Nisleit, whose father once wore the SDPD uniform, thanked his family including his son, Ryan, who attended the ceremony in uniform having just graduated from the SDPD Academy.
Former Chief Shelley Zimmerman plans to retire on March 1 due to requirements laid out by the city pension and retirement program known as "DROP."
Zimmerman – the city’s first-ever female police chief – has held the position since March 4, 2014. She replaced retiring Chief William Lansdowne and was appointed as Faulconer took office as mayor of San Diego. She has been with the SDPD since Oct. 21, 1982.