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By Chris Jennewein, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association
March 26, 2024 (San Diego) -- Mayor Todd Gloria announced Thursday that he has appointed Assistant Chief Scott Wahl, a 25-year law enforcement veteran, as San Diego’s next chief of police.

Gloria made the announcement at a morning news conference at which he promised Wahl would “hit the ground running on day one” as chief.
“The city of San Diego is one of the safest big cities in America, and as mayor it is my highest priority to keep it that way,” said Gloria. “Assistant Chief Wahl shares my commitment to ensure every San Diegan in every neighborhood is safe, while also bringing about the necessary changes to the department in order the build trust and meet our community’s expectations of today.”
Wahl has worked in almost every role and rank including as an officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and most recently assistant chief for legislative affairs and special projects.
“I am honored by the trust our mayor, Todd Gloria, has put in me to lead the San Diego Police Department. I look forward to working collaboratively with him, the City Council, and our community to ensure public safety and a better quality of life for all,” he said. “Together, we will build a department that is reflective of our city and worthy of your trust and collaboration.”
Wahl has a bachelors degree in criminal justice from San Diego State University and a masters degree in organization leadership from National University.
He is a lifelong resident of San Diego, and the son of a San Diego police officer. He and his wife, Stephanie, have four children.
The recruitment of the city’s next chief of police began in November following Chief David Nisleit’s announcement of his retirement in June 2024.
The process consisted of community forums in each of the nine City Council districts, an online survey for residents, a national search, and vetting by 21 community leaders of the finalists.

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