JAMES C. COLLINS
The son of a San Diego police department sergeant, and the father of an SDPD detective, Commissioner Collins served a 41 1/2 year career and set SDPD's record for the longest service for a full time employee when he retired as a captain in September 2011. If his son completes a 33 year career, the Collins family will have given the SDPD 100 years of service.
Since beginning his career as a police cadet in 1970, Commissioner Collins held a variety of assignments within the department during his long distinguished career.
As both a lieutenant then later a captain, Commissioner Collins was most noted for his work leading the San Diego Police Departments homicide unit.
While serving a dual role as the head of the robbery and homicide unit - as well as its official spokesperson - Captain Collins cool delivery and decisive leadership made him a calm reassuring presence even under the most difficult of circumstances.
Perhaps his most famous case was in 2002 when the homicide unit was tasked with investigating the kidnap and murder of seven year old Danielle van Dam. The investigation culiminated with the arrest and conviction of David A. Westerfield, a neighbor.
His fairness as a supervisor, and his professionalism at all ranks, not only made him one of the most respected members of the police department but also one of its most popular. Upon his retirement Mr. Collins was drafted as a San Diego Police Museum Commissioner.
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