Pacific Beach neighbors talk homelessness and school safety with SDPD Chief

Posted at 11:12 PM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-05 02:31:08-04

PACIFIC BEACH (KGTV) - The Meet the Chief event in Pacific Beach covered a range of topics that concerned neighbors, including school safety, homelessness and trouble on the boardwalk.

Neighbors gathered at 6 p.m. in the Wesley Palms Auditorium, interested in what Chief of San Diego Police Department, David Nisleit had to say.

"I just want to see, want to keep the city going as good as they have," John Roodhuyzen said.

Chief Nisleit spoke about his experience in the department, his top two priorities, keeping crime down and hiring more officers, then opened it up for questions.

"How much luck do you have steering people into that or other agencies?" A man in the audience asked referring to homeless people and shelters.

Chief Nisleit responded saying the department has a two pronged approach, "outreach, where we're trying to get people off the streets and get help, whether that's going into an institution, a hospital or to more permanent housing... and then to address those who are committing crime who don't want the help."

Another frustrating topic for these neighbors, safety on the boardwalk.

"Bicycles drive by so close that our balance is not that good anymore, so just one step on the side and you don't hear them coming," a woman said animatedly. 

"Memorial weekend we wrote 275 cites along the boardwalk for just that, wreck less driving, for the different things, not wearing a helmet, whatever we could do to address it," the chief replied. He added the Beach Patrol will focus more on boardwalk safety.

The biggest topic on the minds of neighbors here and nationwide, the safety of our students.

"What are you doing to protect the schools?" Virginia Crabb asked.

"We're looking at schools and making them more difficult to get in to for people who don't belong there... When the threats come out you'll see more officers on those campuses and that will leads to arrests and I never want to see a kid go to jail but at the end of the day they're talking about harming somebody else, god forbid actually carrying out their threats we're not going to allow that," Chief Nisleit said.

During the meeting, there were a couple light moments, and jokes made, the overall sentiment of gratitude radiated from neighbors.

"I think he's going to do a wonderful job," Doris Campbell said.

"Makes me feel good to know we have such wonderful men doing all this work," Crabb said.

Chief Nisleit said it's important to have a relationship with the community, saying it deters crime, and creates trust.