Shelley Zimmerman leaves SDPD — in an official capacity — for the last time

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego's first female police chief will walk out of police headquarters for the final time Thursday.

Shelley Zimmerman, 58, will leave San Diego Police Department nearly four years to the day City Council leaders approved her as police chief. She was selected to lead the city's police force by then-Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer in February 2014.

Zimmerman took over the position from William Landsdowne, who stepped down from chief after more than 10 years following a growing scandal of sexual misconduct against SDPD officers.

RELATED: New San Diego police Chief David Nisleit sworn in

Zimmerman departs SDPD after a 35-year career in the police force after moving to San Diego from Ohio in 1981. Incoming Police Chief David Nisleit, like her, has worked for SDPD for more than 30 years.

During her time as police chief, Zimmerman's tenure has seen many noteworthy incidents, including 2014's introduction of body cameras to San Diego police, a four-day spree of attacks on local homeless community members, the July 2016 fatal shooting of SDPD gang unit Officer Jonathan "J.D." DeGuzman, and the University City mass shooting in May 2017.

On the heels of Zimmerman's departure, SDPD announced last month that the city experienced its lowest overall crime rate in the last 49 years "despite San Diego's population doubling in size during that timeframe." The data from that report covered January 2017 to December 2017.

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