Beverly Hills taps San Diego Harbor police chief as new top cop

Mark Stainbrook
San Diego Harbor Police Chief Mark Stainbrook is sworn in during a ceremony in 2018.
(Port of San Diego)

The Beverly Hills Police Department is getting a new chief.

Mark Stainbrook, the chief of the San Diego Harbor Police Department, will leave his current job on Thursday, Port of San Diego spokeswoman Brianne Page said.

Stainbrook began his career as an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1995, rising through the ranks to the position of lieutenant. He joined Harbor police as an assistant chief in 2011 and was promoted to chief in March 2018. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a retired lieutenant colonel from the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, with 31 years of military service.

“The opportunity to lead the Beverly Hills Police Department is the culmination of my career in law enforcement,” Stainbrook said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the outstanding staff of BHPD while engaging with members of the community as we all work together to keep the community safe and move the department forward.”

On Beverly Hills’ famed Rodeo Drive, police allegedly targeted Black shoppers, who say they feel unwelcome in the wealthy city.

Nov. 5, 2021


The Port of San Diego, which oversees Harbor police, has not made any announcement about a permanent appointment to fill its chief’s position or a candidate search. Assistant Chief Kirk Nichols will serve as interim chief.

The Harbor Police Department, which oversees San Diego Bay, the San Diego International Airport and other bayside areas in San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado and Imperial Beach, employs more than 120 sworn officers.

Stainbrook is Beverly Hill’s third police chief in a year and a half. Sandra Spagnoli, the city’s first female police chief stepped down in May 2020 after a rocky four-year tenure that saw the city pay out millions to settle lawsuits alleging that she had made racist remarks to subordinate officers and engaged in acts of harassment.

Dominick Rivetti took over as interim chief after Spagnoli left and has recently been embroiled in accusations of racial profiling in the city.

Stainbrook is expected to begin duties in late November.

Times staff writers James Queally and Matthew Ormseth contributed to this report.