The first several weeks of Dave Nisleit’s tenure as the new captain of the San Diego Police Department’s Western Division have been anything but quiet and uneventful.
Two days before Christmas — less than a month after Nisleit had assumed command — two men were taken into custody in connection with a shooting in Point Loma Heights in the 3800 block of Nipoma Place.
Then, on Dec. 30, a man Nisleit said had ties to the skinhead community was shot in Point Loma Heights in the 1600 block of Catalina Boulevard during an arrest that involved the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. The man, Joseph Anthony Hill, 44, has been charged in connection with two violent crimes the previous day: a murder in Linda Vista and an assault with a deadly weapon at the Biltmore Hotel in La Jolla, Nisleit said.
Though his early tenure has been associated with big-headline crime scenes, Nisleit said he is also focusing on persistent issues that affect residents and business owners in Ocean Beach.
Nisleit told board members of the Ocean Beach Town Council he is directing resources like the Homeless Outreach Team (H.O.T) to address law-enforcement issues near the beach along the Newport Avenue corridor.
“I think you’ll see some improvements in that area,” Nisleit said Jan. 22 at the Town Council’s monthly public meeting.
The Western Division, which includes 16 neighborhoods and takes in the entire Peninsula, has seen several command changes of late. Nisleit is Western Division’s third captain in less than a year. He replaces Andy Mills, who left to become police chief in Eureka.
Nisleit described himself as a veteran of 26 years with San Diego police, including 12 years on the S.W.A.T. team and additional experience relating to sex crimes, narcotics, internal affairs and gangs.
“I’ve had experience all over the place,” he said.
His breadth is a trait Nisleit said he shares with his three lieutenants at Western Division.
“We can do a lot of brainstorming,” he said.
Nisleit said he welcomes members of the public to share their concerns. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In other Town Council news
• A city-mandated environmental review could blow a hole in the budget of a proposal to restore the north end of Sunset Cliffs Natural Park with native plants. The project was developed early last year to create an entryway and encourage an appreciation of native plants, while demonstrating good water conservation practices, said David Fleitner from the San Diego Native Plant Society. A budget of $4,000 had been envisioned to revegitate the site, a barren area at the corner of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Adair Street. Fleitner said the city has recently asked for more than $2,000 for environmental documents. The added expense and difficulty obtaining permits has placed the project in a holding pattern, he said. More information about the project is available at sunsetcliffsgarden.org.
• Some supporters of a long-sought crosswalk in the middle of the 4700 block of Santa Monica Avenue —intended to increase safety for Ocean Beach Elementary kindergarteners — say the city is focusing on a design many parents won’t like. Following the installation of a streetlight last month, the city now plans to put in curb cuts and paint yellow stripes, said John Ly, aide to District 2 City Councilmember Kevin Faulconer. An elevated speed bump that would accommodate wheelchairs could be installed later, Ly said. But two mothers — Nicole Burgess and Suzy Reid — said they feared the painted crosswalk could wind up being used as an excuse not to install an elevated crosswalk. They also preferred an elevated crosswalk flush with the sidewalk, eliminating the need for curb cuts. Ly said he would seek guidance on the design at an upcoming meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board. The board’s next meeting is Feb. 5, but the agenda could not be confirmed at press time. More information is available at oceanbeachplanning.org.
• Worn-out flags at Veterans’ Plaza at the foot of Newport Avenue were replaced Jan. 17, said corresponding secretary Jon Carr. Two new flags — one a POW-MIA flag, the other California’s state flag — were supplied by the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation and Ocean Beach MainStreet Association. A crew aboard local Fire Truck 20 swapped out the flags, Carr said.
• Those pockets full of change people threw into donation cans hosted by local businesses around Christmastime added up. Nearly $1,000 was raised for holiday charities, said recording secretary Marin Green.
• The newly released state budget is “the best budget we’ve seen in a long time,” said Roberto Alcantar, aide to state Sen. Marty Block. Alcantar said Block is working on two bills to improve education: one to provide universal preschool, the other to allow bachelor’s degrees at community colleges in high-need areas like nursing.
• Local state Assemblywoman Toni Atkins has been selected to become California Assembly Speaker this year, said Atkins aide Rachel Gregg. Atkins will likely move into the position in the spring. She’ll be the first San Diegan, the first lesbian and only the third woman to hold the position. Atkins was a member of the San Diego City Council before her election to the Assembly’s 76th District in 2010. “It's a big thing for San Diego,” Gregg said.
• Winners in the 34th Annual Ocean Beach Holiday Parade were presented with awards. They were: Katie Hess Loves OB (Family Category); magician Loch David Crane and the Star Trike (Individual Category); Ocean Beach People’s Organic Food Market (Merchant Category); OB’s Finest Presents The Blue Streak Racer (Neighbors Category); and OB Burners Presents Christmas on the Playa (Organization Category).