Shelley Zimmerman walked out of San Diego police headquarters for the final time today -- in an official capacity, anyway -- almost four years to the day after she became the first female police chief in the city's history.
The 58-year-old career cop made her official exit from the post during a brief mid-afternoon change-of-command ceremony with her successor, veteran local lawman David Nisleit, outside downtown SDPD headquarters.
Nisleit -- who, like Zimmerman, worked for the San Diego Police Department for more than three decades before being nominated by the mayor to lead the agency -- was unanimously confirmed as chief by the City Council on Monday and was sworn in the following day.
When Zimmerman stepped down from the post, the Ohio native ended a 35-year policing career that began after she moved to San Diego in 1981 without a job, a place to stay or any friends in the area.
Then-Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer chose Zimmerman in February 2014 to lead the San Diego Police Department, and the council unanimously approved the selection the following month. She took over for William Lansdowne, who stepped away after more than 10 years as chief among a growing scandal involving sexual misconduct allegations against officers in the department.
Photo Credit: Phil Farrar