San Diego Police Department

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San Diego Police Department
Patch of the San Diego Police Department.png
Designed in 1988, these patches were originally brown to match the tan uniforms of the time.
Flag of San Diego, California.svg
Flag of San Diego, California
MottoAmerica's Finest
Agency overview
Employees2,332 (2020)[1]
Annual budget$566 million (2021)[1]
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionSan Diego, California, United States
Population1,425,999 (2018)
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters1401 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
Officers1,731 (2020)[1]
Unsworn members601 (2020)[1]
Agency executive
San Diego Police Department
San Diego Police SUV in Mira Mesa
San Diego Police ABLE helicopter
San Diego Police car in the city center

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) is the primary law enforcement agency for the city of San Diego, California. The department was officially established on May 16, 1889.[3][4]


Prior to the establishment of the San Diego Police Department, law enforcement services were provided by the San Diego City Marshal beginning in 1850. The first City Marshal, Agoston Haraszthy, appointed Richard Freeman a marshal, making Freeman the first African American lawman in California.[5] In 1852, due to lack of willing individuals to take up the position, the City Marshal disbanded.[6]

In 1885 the office of City Marshal was reestablished, and in 1889, with a new city charter, the police department was established.[6] All but one police officer at the time of the establishment were White, except for one Hispanic sergeant.[7] The sixth police chief, Edward Beshyhead, also founded the San Diego Union, a predecessor to the current San Diego Union-Tribune.[7]

In 1939, the department moved into their headquarters on Harbor Drive, which they used until moving to their current building in 1986;[8] in 1998 the former headquarters was placed onto the National Register of Historic Places.[9] During World War II, one third of the department was drafted into the United States Military.[6] In 1973, the first uniformed female officer joined the department.[10]

During the 1980s, the police department was at the center of a case that came before the Supreme Court of the United States and Ninth Circuit, Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 (1983),[11][12] which held unconstitutional laws that allow police to demand that "loiterers" and "wanderers" provide identification; this continues to affect other departments nationwide.[13] The decade also saw officers responding to the San Ysidro McDonald's massacre;[14] it was also a decade where the department had the highest mortality rate for officers of any major American city.[15]

Ranks of the SDPD[edit]

Title Insignia Insignia located
4 Gold Stars.svg
Uniform Collar
Executive Assistant Chief
3 Gold Stars.svg
Uniform Collar
Assistant Chief
2 Gold Stars.svg
Uniform Collar
Captain insignia gold.svg
Uniform Collar
US-O1 insignia.svg
Uniform Collar
Sergeant Stripes - Blue w-Gold.png
Police Officer III
Police Officer II
No Special Insignia
Police Officer I
No Special Insignia
Police Recruit
No Special Insignia

Line of duty deaths[edit]

Since the department's establishment, 32 officers have died in the line of duty.[16]

Name Rank Date of death Cause
Emery E. Campbell Officer 27 Aug 1913 Gunfire[17]
Oliver S. Hopkins Sergeant 2 Jul 1915 Vehicular assault[18]
Walter B. Holcomb Patrolman 21 Oct 1918 Spanish flu from transporting the ill[19]
Joseph S. Lee Officer 19 Mar 1921 Vehicle pursuit[20]
Charles R. Harris Detective 3 Apr 1927 Gunfire[21]
Robert Lee Powers Officer 16 Jun 1928 Vehicular assault[22]
Robert B. McPherson Patrolman 19 Sep 1929 Assault[23]
Edward J. Moore Patrolman 15 Jan 1933 Gunfire[24]
Thomas A. Keays Patrolman 20 Nov 1937 Heart attack[25]
Henry J. Goodrich Officer 7 Sep 1940 Motorcycle accident[26]
Robert F. Bowers Patrolman 12 Dec 1955 Vehicle pursuit[27]
Harry Kay Jr. Sergeant 11 Mar 1957 Automobile accident[28]
Michael J. Bushman Patrolman 25 Nov 1963 Automobile accident[29]
Robert L. Everitt Sergeant 7 Dec 1964 Struck by vehicle[30]
James P. Lewis Patrolman 29 Dec 1970 Gunfire[31]
Freddie Joel Edwards Sergeant 7 Oct 1971 Gunfire[32]
Denis W. Allen Patrolman 2 Apr 1977 Gunfire[33]
Archie C. Buggs Patrolman 4 Nov 1978 Gunfire[34]
Michael T. Anaya Patrolman 11 Apr 1979 Gunfire[35]
Dennis Glenn Gonzales Patrolman 25 Jun 1979 Struck by vehicle[36]
Harry Keith Tiffany Patrolman 6 Jun 1981 Gunfire[37]
Ronald R. Ebeltoft Patrolman 6 Jun 1981 Gunfire[38]
Kirk Leland Johnson Patrolman 20 Feb 1983 Gunfire[39]
Kimberly Sue Tonahill Officer 14 Sep 1984 Gunfire[40]
Timothy J. Ruopp Patrolman 16 Sep 1984 Gunfire[41]
Thomas E. Riggs Agent 31 Mar 1985 Gunfire[42]
Jerry L. Hartless Patrolman 31 Jan 1988 Gunfire[43]
Ronald Wayne Davis Officer 17 Sep 1991 Gunfire[44]
Gerald Kieffer Griffin Jr. Officer 25 Apr 2003 Struck by vehicle[45]
Terry William Bennett Officer 26 Jun 2003 Vehicular assault[46]
Christopher A. Wilson Officer 27 Oct 2010 Gunfire[47]
Jeremy Henwood Officer 6 Aug 2011 Gunfire[48]
Jason Prokop Officer 1 Oct 2011 Struck by vehicle[49]
Jonathan De Guzman Officer July 2016 Gunfire[50]


On March 12, 1987, a team from the SDPD raided the home of Tommie DuBose, a civil servant working for the U.S. Navy. They were attempting to serve a warrant on his son, Charles. They apparently knocked on the door, then broke it down before anyone inside could open it. After a struggle, Officer Carlos Garcia shot DuBose five times, including four in the back, and he died immediately. An investigation concluded that the uniforms worn did not allow the policemen to be easily identified as law enforcement and that the team did not allow enough time for the family to open the door. The investigation recommended no action be taken against any of the officers. They all returned to duty.[51]

In February 2011, Sergeant Ken Davis was charged with one count of felony stalking and three counts of repeated harassment by phone or electronic contact relating to his conduct towards another police officer. Davis pleaded not guilty and was put on paid administrative duty while on trial.[52] He later pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of three years of probation and ten days of community service.[53]

On March 11, 2011, San Diego policeman Anthony Arevalos was arrested on 18 charges related to traffic stops he conducted between 2009 and 2011. He was accused of sexual assault in one instance and for asking women for their underwear in exchange for not being cited.[54] In November, a jury found him guilty of several charges, including felony charges of sexual battery by restraint and assault and battery by an officer.[55] Lawsuits against the city resulted in agreements to pay more than $2 million relating to Arevalos' crimes.[56]

In 2011, Motorcycle Officer Christopher Hall, suspected of DUI after hitting a car and fleeing the scene in Costa Mesa, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.[57]

In July 2012, Officer Daniel Dana pleaded no contest to committing a lewd act in public, a misdemeanor charge, in exchange with having the felony charge of sexually assaulting a prostitute dropped. It stemmed from a May 2011 event in which Dana coerced a prostitute to have sex with him in his patrol car. Dana left the police force following the charge.[58]

In November 2014, two married SDPD officers, Bryce and Jennifer Charpentier, were arrested for burglarizing homes in the San Diego area. They were trying to steal prescription painkillers to feed their drug addiction. They were both subsequently terminated from SDPD, and sentenced to three years in prison.[59]

On March 15, 2015, at 5:00 a.m., SDPD officers responded to a domestic disturbance call, waking resident Ian Anderson and his six-year-old pit bull service dog, Burberry. Anderson opened the door and informed the officers that they had the wrong address. Video surveillance showed Burberry running up to one of the officers who "put his hand out in an attempt to calm the dog," Burberry then ran towards a second officer who can be seen, in a neighborhood surveillance video, to be retreating. The officer then drew his gun and shot and killed the dog.[60]

On March 17, 2015, U-T San Diego reported: "A San Diego Police Department dispatcher and anonymous Wikipedia users have edited or deleted paragraphs from the misconduct section of the police department's Wikipedia page five times since January 2014. ... The edits, which eliminated references to negative information, came as the police force faced several scandals over officer misconduct."[61]

Also on March 17, a U.S. Department of Justice review recommended that the SDPD overhaul its supervision practices following misconduct in which officers took advantage of women sexually.[62]

Cadet program[edit]

The San Diego Police Department Cadet Program (SDPD) is a voluntary, non-enforcement entry-level position with the San Diego Police Department for people ages 16–21. After a six-session academy, Cadets may choose to go on ride-alongs, assist with security and traffic control, work undercover and much more.[63]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Sullivan, Carl; Baranauckas, Carla (June 26, 2020). "Here's how much money goes to police departments in largest cities across the U.S." USA Today. Archived from the original on July 14, 2020.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Steve Willard; Ed LaValle (23 July 2012). San Diego Police: Case Files. Arcadia Publishing. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-4396-4249-8.
  4. ^ Castanien, Pliny (1980). "San Diego Police — A Look Back". The Journal of San Diego History. San Diego Historical Society. 26 (1). Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  5. ^ Steve Willard (2005). San Diego Police Department. Arcadia Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-7385-2998-1.
  6. ^ a b c Willard, Steve (September 2008). "History of San Diego Law Enforcement". Police Chief Magazine. International Association of Chiefs of Police. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b Steve Willard; Ed LaValle (23 July 2012). San Diego Police: Case Files. Arcadia Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-4396-4249-8.
  8. ^ Steve Willard (2005). San Diego Police Department. Arcadia Publishing. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-7385-2998-1.
  9. ^ "Federal Register" (PDF). Government Printing Office. June 22, 1998. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
    "Project Background". Old Police Headquarters. Port of San Diego. 2013. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
    Nagappan, Padma (August 25, 2011). "Historic site to get facelift, retail tenants". The Daily Transcript. San Diego. Retrieved March 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Davis, Kristina (13 March 2012). "Trailblazing women in law enforcement honored". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  11. ^ Kolender v. Lawson, 461 United States Reports 352 (Supreme Court of the United States May 2, 1983).
  12. ^ Lawson v. Kolender, 658 United States Federal Reports, 2nd 1362 (United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Oct 15, 1981).
  13. ^ "NYPD's 'stop-and-frisk' practice unconstitutional, judge rules". Reuters. Aug 12, 2013.
    "L.A. County Sheriff's Department violated rights of blacks, Justice Department says". Los Angeles Times. June 28, 2013.
    "Investigation of Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department Stations in Antelope Valley" (PDF). US Department of Justice. June 28, 2013.
  14. ^ "SAN YSIDRO MASSACRE: JULY 18, 1984". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
    Kavanagh, Jim (24 July 2009). "Slaughter at McDonald's changed how police operate". CNN. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  15. ^ Steve Willard (2005). San Diego Police Department. Arcadia Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7385-2998-1.
    Weintraub, Daniel M. (2 April 1985). "Latest Police Slaying Stuns San Diego". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 April 2015.
  16. ^ The San Diego Police Department at the Officer Down Memorial Page
  17. ^ "ODMP Remembers Emery E. Campbell". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  18. ^ "ODMP Remembers Oliver S. Hopkins". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  19. ^ "ODMP Remembers Walter B. Holcomb". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  20. ^ "ODMP Remembers Joseph S. Lee". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  21. ^ "ODMP Remembers Charles R. Harris". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  22. ^ "ODMP Remembers Robert Lee Powers". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  23. ^ "ODMP Remembers Robert B. McPherson". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  24. ^ "ODMP Remembers Edward J. Moore". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  25. ^ "ODMP Remembers Thomas A. Keays". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  26. ^ "ODMP Remembers Henry J. Goodrich". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  27. ^ "ODMP Remembers Robert F. Bowers". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  28. ^ "ODMP Remembers Harry Kay Jr". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  29. ^ "ODMP Remembers Michael J. Bushman". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  30. ^ "ODMP Remembers Robert L. Everitt". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  31. ^ "ODMP Remembers James P. Lewis". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  32. ^ "ODMP Remembers Freddie Joel Edwards". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  33. ^ "ODMP Remembers Denis W. Allen". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  34. ^ "ODMP Remembers Archie C. Buggs". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
    Horn, Allison (23 August 2018). "San Diego Police officer's killer granted parole". KGTV. San Diego. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  35. ^ "ODMP Remembers Michael T. Anaya". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  36. ^ "ODMP Remembers Dennis Glenn Gonzales". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  37. ^ "ODMP Remembers Harry Keith Tiffany". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  38. ^ "ODMP Remembers Ronald R. Ebeltoft". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  39. ^ "ODMP Remembers Kirk Leland Johnson". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  40. ^ "ODMP Remembers Kimberly Sue Tonahill". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  41. ^ "ODMP Remembers Timothy J. Ruopp". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  42. ^ "ODMP Remembers Thomas E. Riggs". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  43. ^ "ODMP Remembers Jerry L. Hartless". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  44. ^ "ODMP Remembers Ronald Wayne Davis". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  45. ^ "ODMP Remembers Gerald Kieffer Griffin Jr". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  46. ^ "ODMP Remembers Terry William Bennett". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  47. ^ "ODMP Remembers Christopher A. Wilson". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  48. ^ "ODMP Remembers Jeremy Henwood". ODMP. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  49. ^ Kristina Davis; J. Harry Jones (1 October 2011). "SDPD officer one of two dead in I-15 crashes". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 21 April 2013.
  50. ^ "Police Officer II Jonathan Matias DeGuzman".
  51. ^ Rise of the Warrior Cop: the Militarization of America's Police, by Radley Balko, Kindle Location 2925-46, 2013
  52. ^ Sergeant Accused of Stalking Officer: Sgt. Ken Davis has been placed on paid administrative leave, by Paul Krueger, 14 April 2011,
  53. ^ SDPD Officer Guilty of Stalking, by Lindsay Hood, Paul Krueger, and R. Stickney 27 September 2011,
  54. ^ Ex-Cop Wanted Victim's Panties: Court Docs Documents show the alleged perverted behavior of this 18-year veteran cop could go back as far as 15 years, by R. Stickney and Rory Devine 13 May 2013,
  55. ^ Jury Convicts Ex-Cop of Sexual Battery, Assault Former police officer Anthony Arevalos was cuffed and escorted from the courtroom after the verdicts were read, by R. Stickney and Eric S. Page. 18 November 2011,
  56. ^ City to Pay $795K in Arevalos Settlement, by Sherene Tagharobi, R. Stickney and Paul Krueger, 27 September 2013,
  57. ^ Marosi, Richard (1 August 2011). "San Diego cop accused of hit-and-run DUI apparently kills himself". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  58. ^ Perry, Tony (18 July 2012). "Former San Diego police officer pleads no contest to lewd act -". Los Angeles Times. San Diego, California. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  59. ^ "Married ex-SDPD officers sentenced in drug sales case".
  60. ^ "Dog's fatal shooting by San Diego police under investigation". 2015-03-20.
  61. ^ Joel Hoffmann (17 March 2015). "SDPD edits misconduct from Wikipedia". U-T San Diego. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  62. ^ "U.S. Review of San Diego police misconduct finds lax supervision". Reuters. 2015-03-18.
  63. ^ San Diego Police Department > Career Opportunities > CADET

External links[edit]