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Meet the Chief

Post Date:04/15/2024

On April 15, the City of Carlsbad officially welcomed our new Police Chief, the 11th since the city’s founding in 1952.  Christie Calderwood steps into this new role after serving the Carlsbad Police Department for the past 18 years.

What led you to a career in law enforcement?
I was looking for a career that was different than the normal 9-5 where I knew I would have opportunities to give back to the community and be a part of something that would be challenging, but also rewarding. Playing sports all growing up, I was also drawn to the camaraderie and teamwork that goes into policing.

How has law enforcement changed since you first started your career?
There are the obvious things like the increased use of technology, but the biggest shift has been in the philosophy and culture of law enforcement. There is a greater priority placed on communication, crisis intervention and de-escalation. In Carlsbad, we have always had a strong focus on community collaboration, but this is now widely recognized as a critical component of effective law enforcement.

What are some of the challenges you see on the horizon?
Carlsbad has always been a very safe city, but we are still affected by the same economic and societal forces you see in larger cities. Issues are always evolving, like cybercrime, ghost guns, and the opioid epidemic. These are things that we hadn’t seen in previous decades of policing. Our challenge is to be very nimble and use data to detect new trends and allocate our resources where they’re needed most. As the city gets built out, we need to ensure that we have the right quantity and quality of resources to continue to do the job at a very high level. Ideally, we want to seize every opportunity to get out in front of issues before they become problems. As the Chief, I want to carry the community’s voice back to the department, but also be the voice for the brave men and women who work for the police department, ensuring that they have the resources they need to do their jobs with great success.

You now have two chiefs in your household. How has that been?
We both have a calling for public service. Our careers have always been on more or less parallel paths, so it’s normal for us. My husband was a battalion chief when I was a sergeant. I was a lieutenant when he was a division chief and ultimately became the fire chief. The police and fire departments work closely together but are totally separate entities, so we are not in each other’s chains of command. The Carlsbad Police Department and Fire Department have a very positive working relationship and mutual respect for each other.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Our family is probably like a lot of Carlsbad families. We are involved in a lot of sports and we like to spend time with friends and family. We love the ocean and try to get out to the beach as much as possible.

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