SAN DIEGO – San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne has announced Tuesday he is retiring from the department amid various misconduct investigations involving several officers in his department, a police lieutenant said.
Lansdowne, who has been the city of San Diego’s top law enforcement officers since the summer of 2003, will officially retire Monday, March 3, 2014.
On Friday, Mayor Elect Kevin Faulconer met with the chief to discuss the direction of the department in the wake of accusations of on-duty sexual improprieties on the part of several sworn officers.
Though Faulconer did not ask him to resign, Lansdowne “felt it was time to do so,” SDPD public-affairs Lt. Kevin Mayer said.
“The chief absolutely supports the new mayor and believes in his vision and direction for the city,” Mayer said. “This was a difficult decision for Chief Lansdowne to make, as he consi
ders San Diego his home and truly values the citizens of this city and the employees who work here.”
Interim Mayor Todd Gloria released a statement following the retirement announcement:
“His leadership led to our lowest crime rate since the 1960s, his hallmark calm demeanor helped get the San Diego Police Department and our City through challenging financial cutbacks, and he remains a respected national expert on public safety. I’m grateful for his tremendous contributions to San Diego and wish him well in retirement.”
“It is my hope that a national search that includes significant community input will be performed to select the next police chief. The City Council and I stand ready to help the Mayor-Elect ensure the San Diego Police Department has stable leadership and continues to be America’s Finest,” Gloria added.
Lansdowne served as police chief in Richmond and San Jose before taking charge of the SDPD in August 2003.