Our host, Jenni Prisk, interviews Shelley Zimmerman, the first female Chief of Police of the San Diego Police Department, who talks candidly about what it takes to be the Police Chief of the 8th largest city in the U.S. Learn what inspired her to a make a career in law enforcement and why she finds it so rewarding.

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Excerpts from Interview

  • “From day one, I fell in love with being a police officer.”
  • “Father’s come up to me with their daughters and say, “Honey, this is the Chief of Police. You can be anything you want in the world.” That is correct….but I add, you have to be willing to work hard.”
  • “Overall, we are one of safest cities, that’s because of the tremendous job our police department does working in conjunction with our community. No police department is large enough to police a city. You need your community’s trust.”
  • “We understand the dangers that our police officers face every day. I want the public to know, our resolve to go out and protect our public is as strong as it has ever been. We know our community needs us and we need our community to support us. Public safety is a shared responsibility.”

More About Shelley Zimmerman
Chief Shelley Zimmerman was promoted to Chief of Police on March 4, 2014, and was hired on October 21, 1982, by the San Diego Police Department. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio and is a graduate of The Ohio State University, with a degree in Criminal Justice. She is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, FBINA #241.

Chief Zimmerman has worked many of the San Diego Police Department’s patrol commands. Shelley also has extensive investigative experience. Some of Chief Zimmerman’s prior assignments have included Vice, Narcotics, Internal Affairs, Multi-Cultural Community Relations Office, the Mayor’s Executive Protection Detail, the Narcotics Task Force and the Field Lieutenant position.

  • “This badge that I proudly wear, that we all proudly wear, it is not just a piece of polished metal. It represents the people of San Diego. It is our symbol of service above self, of professionalism, of honesty, of integrity and of the oath that we all took.”
  • “You have the opportunity to make a positive difference in somebody’s life at the worst possible moment. We get 1.3 million calls into our center every year and unfortunately, we don’t get calls saying, ‘Please hurry, my child made the honor roll and the cake is almost gone.'”