About the Chief
William M. Lansdowne
Chief Lansdowne was sworn in as San Diego's Chief of Police on August 4, 2003. San Diego is the seventh largest city in the United States with a population of 1.27 million people.
Chief Lansdowne was born in Oakland, CA on May 10, 1944. He graduated from San Jose State University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration.
Chief Lansdowne began his law enforcement career in 1966, when he joined the San Jose Police Department. As he learned policing, he also was serving his state as a member of the California National Guard (1966-72). He rose steadily through the ranks at SJPD, commanding a variety of units and divisions - and developing a reputation as a person who cared about his officers and the community they policed. He was accessible and he was not afraid to make decisions. Those skills eventually elevated him to the position of Assistant Chief.
In 1994, a new challenge presented itself. Chief Lansdowne left San Jose to head the police department in Richmond, CA, a diverse community of 93,000. He reorganized the department and its priorities, placing new emphasis on community policing and implementing violence reduction and truancy programs. During his five years in Richmond, homicides dropped by 50% and department overtime was reduced by $800,000 in just two years.
In August 1998, Chief Lansdowne returned to San Jose as that city's "top cop." He continued to emphasize community involvement, holding his department open to public scrutiny. While he was chief, San Jose became nationally recognized as the safest large city in America.
Over the years, Chief Lansdowne has expanded his expertise and his reputation as one of the foremost law enforcement professionals in the country. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has served on a variety of state and national boards, including the Major Cities Chiefs and the National Conference for Community and Justice.
Chief Lansdowne has been married for nine years to Sharon, a former San Jose police officer. He has two sons by a prior marriage: Greg, a Santa Cruz sheriff's deputy, and Erik, who works in sales in Mountain View. Sharon has a son by a prior marriage: Mike Young, a computer engineer, who lives in Fairfield. The Lansdownes enjoy spending quality time with their grandchildren Cassandra and William.
Chief Lansdowne owns a jeep and frequently visits the backcountry. He has explored all of the ghost towns in Northern California and Nevada and is looking forward to exploring Southern California.
- Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice Administration - 1973
San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
- FBI National Academy - 1991
- National Law Enforcement Institute Graduate - 1999
- National Law Enforcement Executive Development Graduate - 1996
- American Leadership Fellows Graduate - 2001
- California National Guard - 1972
Honorably Discharged E-5
Boards and Commissions
- Board of Directors, Major Cities Chiefs
- Board of Directors, High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA)
- Board of Directors, Governor's Anti-Terrorism Task Force
- Board of Directors, National Conference for Community and Justice
- Member, California Homeland Security Public Safety Advisory Committee
- International Association of Chiefs of Police
- California Police Chiefs Association
- Police Executive Research Forum
Summary of Experience
- 2003 to Present - City of San Diego, California - Chief of Police
- 1998 to 2003 - City of San Jose, California - Chief of Police
- 1994 to 1998 - City of Richmond, California - Chief of Police
- 1966 to 1994 - City of San Jose, California - Served in all ranks through position of Assistant Chief
- Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, Supervisory, Management (Course Completed - CA P.O.S.T.)
- FBI National Academy - 165th Session
- FBI National Executive Institute - 22nd Session
- FBI National Executive Development - 33rd Session