May 16, 2024 / News

Happy Birthday, SDPD!

Celebrate 135 years of SDPD with these fast facts about America’s Finest.

1. The San Diego Police Department was founded on May 16, 1889

Photo Credit: San Diego Police Historical Association

2.  SDPD’s current Chief of Police is David Nisleit
Chief David Nisleit joined SDPD in 1988 and has served as Chief since 2018. He will be retiring this June.

3.  SDPD’s next Chief of Police will be Assistant Chief Scott Wahl
Assistant Chief Scott Wahl has served with the San Diego Police Department for 25 years and will begin his new role as Chief of Police on June 7.

4. SDPD has a variety of volunteer programs
SDPD runs six volunteer programs including the Cadet Program, Crisis Intervention, the Reserves, STAR/PAL, RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol), and VIP (Volunteers in Policing).

5. 37 active K9 crimefighters are serving SDPD
For the past 21 years, every police service dog at the San Diego Police Department has been purchased with funds donated by the community through the Police Foundation. These specialized canines safeguard public events, find missing persons, locate evidence, de-escalate dangerous situations, prevent shootings, and preserve life.

6. SDPD has a Crime Laboratory Internship Program
Internship opportunities may be available in a variety of forensic disciplines, including Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry, Firearms, Trace Evidence, Crime Scene, Latent Prints, and Forensic Technology.

7. SDPD is a leader in Community Oriented Policing
In the 1980s, SDPD was one of the first police departments to adopt Community Oriented Policing, which is an approach to public safety that puts relationships with community members at the center of policing efforts. Chief-to-be Scott Wahl follows a community-oriented policing approach and considers it fundamental to serving the communities of San Diego.

Celebrate SDPD by donating to the San Diego Police Foundation!

The San Diego Police Foundation proudly supports America’s finest police department by cultivating positive community engagement and helping fund vital equipment and specialized training that ensures peace and safety for all.