SDPD chief retires amid department scandal - 100.7 KFM-BFM - San Diego Radio -

SDPD chief retires amid department scandal

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diego's police chief announced his retirement Tuesday afternoon amid a department scandal involving accusations against two officers of sexual misconduct.

Lansdowne's retirement takes effect Monday, March 3. He served as the SDPD's top cop for 10 years.

The SDPD has been under severe scrutiny following accusations of sexual misconduct against two officers. Christopher Hays, who has since resigned from the SDPD, is facing felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from accusations that he groped female suspects.

A second officer, Donald Moncrief, was placed on paid leave after a woman claimed he groped her and exposed himself to her.

The scandal was the latest black eye for the SDPD. Former officer Anthony Arevalos was convicted in 2011 of sexually assaulting and harassing women during DUI traffic stops in the Gaslamp District. On Tuesday, a judge vacated at least two charges against the 18-year department veteran. He is currently serving a nine-year sentence.

Last week, Lansdowne called for an outside audit of the department's misconduct policies. It was unclear if the review would still take place in light of his retirement. Lansdowne also met with mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer on the issue. In a press release, the SDPD said although Faulconer did not ask for Lansdowne's resignation, the chief felt it was the right time to step down.

"This was a difficult decision for Chief Lansdowne to make as he considers San Diego his home and truly values the citizens of this city and the employees who work here," Lt. Kevin Mayer said.

On Tuesday, mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer thanked Lansdowne for his "tireless public service," and pledged his full support to the men and women of the police department:

"I greatly appreciate Police Chief Lansdowne's leadership and dedication to the San Diego Police Department. He is a tireless public servant, leading the police department over the last 10 years with an unwavering commitment to public safety. San Diego owes him a debt of gratitude," said Faulconer.
"As mayor, the brave men and women of the San Diego Police Department will have my full support. They serve our city every day with dignity and honor. I will work with them to move the department past this difficult time and ensure they have the resources and leadership to be successful. San Diego families deserve the best and brightest officers, and as mayor I will work every day to keep those officers here - and attract more - to protect our neighborhoods. I will make an announcement on new leadership in the police department in the near future."

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria Tuesday also released a statement in reaction to Lansdowne's announcement:

"William Lansdowne has served San Diego exceptionally well throughout his 10 years as our Chief of Police. 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," said Interim Mayor Todd Gloria.  "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."

Sheriff Bill Gore also reacted to Lansdowne's retirement:

"San Diego Police Chief Bill Lansdowne has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in law enforcement," said Sheriff Bill Gore. "He has led the department through one of the most difficult fiscal times in the city's history and enjoyed many years of reduced crime through his leadership and foresight.

"In my 44 years in law enforcement, I have never been associated with anyone who worked harder or gave more of himself than Bill Lansdowne.

"I believe Chief Lansdowne has positioned the San Diego Police Department -one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the country - in a good place, by requesting an outside audit. This will ensure the public's confidence in the fine men and women who work so hard to keep San Diego safe.

"Bill is not only a trusted colleague, but a good friend and partner. I wish him and his wife, Sharon every happiness they deserve."


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