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DROP-out chief hits Las Vegas

Already this year Zimmerman has logged at least five major out-of-town trips

In advance of her March 2018 retirement as police chief, Shelley Zimmerman exercises her travel muscle.
In advance of her March 2018 retirement as police chief, Shelley Zimmerman exercises her travel muscle.

As she counts down the days until her lucrative retirement on the city’s notorious Deferred Retirement Option Plan, widely known as DROP, San Diego chief of police Shelley Zimmerman has increasingly taken to the road, courtesy of taxpayers. That word comes via travel-expense documents posted on the city’s public records web page.

Already this year Zimmerman has logged at least five major out-of-town trips. On February 2, she went to Washington DC for two days at the Major Cities Chiefs Meeting, running up a $1653 tab. In March she headed for Palm Springs to attend the San Diego County Chiefs and Sheriffs Association annual training, at a cost of $924. There the chief shared “information on current concerns and issues that could impact the city of San Diego,” per her travel report. In May it was off to Sacramento for the California Peace Officers Memorial ceremony, costing taxpayers $762. Four days after she got back from that event, Zimmerman jetted off for Washington again, this time for the National Law Enforcement Memorial, running up total expenses of $2018. At the end of the month, the chief traveled to Las Vegas for the Police Executive Research Forum’s annual meeting, to “share information on different issues that could impact the city of San Diego,” costing $691.

As first revealed here in February 2014, shortly after Zimmerman was named police chief by newly elected mayor Kevin Faulconer the city acknowledged that she would have to depart after four years. Zimmerman “entered DROP on March 2, 2013, and will exit DROP on March 1, 2018. DROP is irrevocable, and as such, a DROP participant must exit DROP at the end of the designated period.”

That started the clock ticking on Zimmerman’s lame-duck tenure, during which she has received both her chief’s salary and benefits along with six-figure annual pension payouts from her prior 31 years of service. Under the terms of the controversial program, the chief’s pension — about 85 percent of her 2013 salary — has been about $131,000 a year, per a Union-Tribune report, tucked away for her in a savings account until the day she leaves the city. The nest egg will be worth a tidy $654,729 by the time Zimmerman departs the city, according to the paper’s calculations.

Additionally, Zimmerman’s annual compensation and benefits as chief during 2016 totaled $234,841, according to Transparent California, which notes “The City of San Diego does not provide the cost of pension benefits on an employee level and, as such, the ‘total benefits’ value reported is incomplete and significantly understated.”

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In advance of her March 2018 retirement as police chief, Shelley Zimmerman exercises her travel muscle.
In advance of her March 2018 retirement as police chief, Shelley Zimmerman exercises her travel muscle.

As she counts down the days until her lucrative retirement on the city’s notorious Deferred Retirement Option Plan, widely known as DROP, San Diego chief of police Shelley Zimmerman has increasingly taken to the road, courtesy of taxpayers. That word comes via travel-expense documents posted on the city’s public records web page.

Already this year Zimmerman has logged at least five major out-of-town trips. On February 2, she went to Washington DC for two days at the Major Cities Chiefs Meeting, running up a $1653 tab. In March she headed for Palm Springs to attend the San Diego County Chiefs and Sheriffs Association annual training, at a cost of $924. There the chief shared “information on current concerns and issues that could impact the city of San Diego,” per her travel report. In May it was off to Sacramento for the California Peace Officers Memorial ceremony, costing taxpayers $762. Four days after she got back from that event, Zimmerman jetted off for Washington again, this time for the National Law Enforcement Memorial, running up total expenses of $2018. At the end of the month, the chief traveled to Las Vegas for the Police Executive Research Forum’s annual meeting, to “share information on different issues that could impact the city of San Diego,” costing $691.

As first revealed here in February 2014, shortly after Zimmerman was named police chief by newly elected mayor Kevin Faulconer the city acknowledged that she would have to depart after four years. Zimmerman “entered DROP on March 2, 2013, and will exit DROP on March 1, 2018. DROP is irrevocable, and as such, a DROP participant must exit DROP at the end of the designated period.”

That started the clock ticking on Zimmerman’s lame-duck tenure, during which she has received both her chief’s salary and benefits along with six-figure annual pension payouts from her prior 31 years of service. Under the terms of the controversial program, the chief’s pension — about 85 percent of her 2013 salary — has been about $131,000 a year, per a Union-Tribune report, tucked away for her in a savings account until the day she leaves the city. The nest egg will be worth a tidy $654,729 by the time Zimmerman departs the city, according to the paper’s calculations.

Additionally, Zimmerman’s annual compensation and benefits as chief during 2016 totaled $234,841, according to Transparent California, which notes “The City of San Diego does not provide the cost of pension benefits on an employee level and, as such, the ‘total benefits’ value reported is incomplete and significantly understated.”

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Comments
3

Chump change compared to what our elected officials spend on travel.

Oct. 18, 2017

While some believe her travel could be categorized excessive or maybe abusive for a chief heading for retirement early next year. Others get a necessary break from a person who blames others for anything and everything that does not go her way. Hopefully, a new chief will bring an effective leader back to PD, not just a personal friend, his Honor, the Mayor, appointed to this office in 2014.

Oct. 18, 2017

We all should hope you are right. But the chances of finding a really capable cop to run that department are not good. She's just doing what a normal lame duck occupant of a job does, meaning she is putting in time and treading water. If her successor comes from the ranks of the department, he or she will be carrying a lifetime of typical SDPD baggage, and will be most unlikely to shake things up. An outsider, if one would take the job, might bring a breath of fresh air to the operation, but would likely be blocked at every turn.

Oct. 18, 2017

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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