San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne Resigns

By Christina London and NBC Bay Area Staff
|  Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014  |  Updated 3:41 PM PDT
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San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne is stepping down from his job at top cop. Lansdowne served as San Jose's chief of police from 1998 until 2003, when left to become chief in San Diego.

This comes in the wake of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct in the department.

Lansdowne, a graduate of San Jose State University, started his career with the San Jose Police Department.

In a statement released Monday, SDPD said the chief's stepping down was his own decision.

San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne is announcing his retirement from the San Diego Police Department, effective Monday March 3, 2014. The Chief has served the citizens of San Diego for over 10 years and has successfully led the Department through countless critical events.

Although Mayor Elect Kevin Faulconer did not ask for the Police Chief to resign, Chief Lansdowne felt it was time to do so. The Chief absolutely supports the new Mayor and believes in his vision and direction for the City.

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.

In an interview with NBC 7 on Feb. 17, Lansdowne said he wanted to stay on the job and see the scandal through.

“I would like to stay. I’m excited about this police department and everything they do, but I also understand it’s his (Faulconer’s) decision to make,” Lansdowne said.

At 69, Lansdowne has been leading the SDPD for 10 years. That’s longer than the three year average term of most big city police chiefs, he said.

SDPD has been in the limelight in recent weeks due to ongoing investigations into sexual misconduct allegations involving two separate police officers.

Former Officer Christopher Hays, 30 – who’s no longer employed with the department, effective last week – is accused of giving several women improper pat downs on the job. Officer Donald Moncrief, 39, is accused of touching a woman inappropriately during an arrest in the South Bay last year and allegedly exposing himself to the woman. Moncrief has not been formally charged.

As a result of these recent cases, Lansdowne had called for an outside audit into the police department to review how the SDPD handles misconduct among officers.

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