Chief Susan E. Manheimer

Before being named the “Top Cop” in San Mateo, Chief Manheimer served almost 17 years with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). Her assignments included robbery decoy work, and gang and violent-crime suppression. She was both a Lieutenant and Captain of the Tenderloin Task Force, a tough inner-city neighborhood. She proposed and spearheaded the first Business Improvement District and Safety Ambassador program for the City and County of San Francisco. This also spearheaded the homeless and juvenile issues for the SFPD. Under her tenure, Manheimer was able to forge a coalition of public, private, community-based organizations, and businesses to “Take Back the Tenderloin.” This helped reduce blight and increased neighborhood safety, forging coalitions and engaging the challenged community.

Chief Manheimer was recruited by the City of San Mateo and appointed Chief of Police in May 2000. She continues her commitment to innovative neighborhood policing partnerships. Under her leadership, with the support of the City of San Mateo, and the men and women of the SMPD, award-winning programs have improved the quality of life in San Mateo.

The revitalization of the downtown has been enhanced by the highly successful Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) and the Field Crisis Team. These programs were implemented in response to incidents and individuals involved with mental illness. She is a leader in San Mateo County’s Local Action Plan to End Homelessness. The HOT Team’s successes in ending chronic homelessness in downtown San Mateo has been replicated throughout San Mateo County.

Spearheading an effective effort to reduce Polynesian gang activity, Manheimer enlisted allied agencies, community faith leaders, and elders to form the Tongan Interfaith Council. They worked to drive down violent crime, particularly in schools and parks. Manheimer was also one of the driving forces behind the long-term, highly effective Countywide Gang Task Force, as well as the allied inter-agency Gang Intelligence Unit and was their first Commander.

Now one of the senior tenured chiefs of police in the state, Manheimer is focused on building a best-practices agency of excellence with established county-wide protocols that produce evidence-based, sustainable solutions that strike at the root of neighborhood safety and quality of life, while building legitimacy, trust, and engagement between the police and the communities they serve. Involved at the national, state, and local level, she is a longtime member of the Police Executive Research Forum and is an Executive Fellow at the nationally recognized Police Foundation. Manheimer was honored to have been selected to participate in the most recent Executive Session on Policing at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Chief Manheimer received a Presidential Appointment to the Office of Violence Against Women Act Re-commissioning. She serves on the International Association of Chiefs of Police Juvenile Justice Committee and is the first woman to have served as President of the California Police Chiefs’ Association and the San Mateo County Chiefs’ and Sheriff’s Association. Manheimer serves as a Governor’s appointee on the State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, is a county appointee to the Community Corrections partnership, and serves on the Boards of the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, the University of San Francisco Law Enforcement Leadership Institute, the San Mateo NAACP Executive Board, and the San Mateo Police Activities League. All of these activities bring community organizations and the public together.

Chief Manheimer received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, where she has taught a popular class on Public Policy, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University. She is a graduate of the POST Command College prestigious executive training program.

Chief Manheimer resides in San Mateo County and has two adult children, Sarah, an attorney, and Jesse, a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. Together with her grandchildren, they enjoy skiing, hiking, rowing, and service to their community.