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About the Chief

Shelley Zimmerman

Photo of Police Chief 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.

Chief Zimmerman has assisted in the security planning for several large events in San Diego such as the Super Bowl, Republican National Convention, major conferences and the 4th of July Independence Day holiday at the beach, where more than one million local and visitors alike come to enjoy each year.

Chief Zimmerman has received numerous awards and citations throughout her career which has included the San Diego Press Club Headliner of the year award for her undercover work, the San Diego Business Journal's Woman Who Mean Business Exemplary Award for her civic involvement with both the business and residential communities, the San Diego Police Foundation Women in Blue Award for her commitment to making San Diego one of the safest large cities in the United States and the Gold Key Award from the Hotel/Motel Association for her commitment to the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.

Chief Zimmerman's previous assignment was the Neighborhood Policing section which includes; the Regional Police Academy, Backgrounds, In-Service and Field Training, Juvenile Administration, the Police Range, Volunteer Services, Information Services, Communications, Crime Analysis, and Human Resources. Chief Zimmerman was also the Department's liaison with the Gang Commission, STAR-PAL, the San Diego Police Foundation, Crime Stoppers, Labor Relations, the Hotel/Motel Association and the Chief's Community Advisory Boards.

Chief Zimmerman is an avid sports fan and often participates in athletic charity fundraisers.