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City Council Unanimously Confirms Scott Wahl as Next Police Chief


May 13, 2024


SACRAMENTO – In a culmination of a six-month process, the City Council today unanimously confirmed Mayor Todd Gloria’s appointee, Assistant Police Chief Scott Wahl, as the next San Diego Police Chief. 

“With his wealth of experience, demonstrated commitment to protecting and serving our communities and his forward-thinking vision for our police department, Scott Wahl is the right person to lead the San Diego Police Department in its mission to keep all San Diego residents safe,” Mayor Todd Gloria said. “Assistant Chief Wahl is a man of great integrity and exceptional experience, and he will serve our community with distinction and honor. I thank the City Council for unanimously agreeing to place their trust in him.” 

Assistant Chief Wahl began his career with the San Diego Police Department 26 years ago, serving as a police officer in the Southern Division, a detective in the Vice Unit, and captain for the Neighborhood Policing Division, the Northern Division and the Operational Support Division before becoming assistant chief overseeing special projects and legislative affairs.  

He was chosen from a pool of 56 candidates to replace San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit, who will retire next month after 36 years of service with the San Diego Police Department, including six as chief of police.  Assistant Chief Wahl takes over as Chief on June 7. 

“I want to thank Mayor Todd Gloria and the City Council for giving me this incredible opportunity. I am honored by the trust they have placed in me to lead this organization into the future,” said Assistant Chief Scott Wahl. “My vision is to build an inclusive organization that is reflective of the city we serve, and I look forward to working collaboratively with civic leaders and representatives of communities across San Diego to build a safer San Diego.” 

After Chief Nisleit announced his impending retirement last year, the City launched a national search for his replacement, which included in-person community forums in all nine City Council districts and an online survey to solicit input from San Diego residents.  

Mayor Gloria announced Assistant Chief Wahl as his nominee on March 21, 2024. The City Council, serving as the Committee of the Whole, voted in favor of appointing Assistant Chief Wahl on April 29, leading to today’s final confirmation vote.