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Executive Leadership Group

Magda Fernandez

Chief of Police / Vice President, Public Safety

Magda Fernandez was appointed Port of San Diego Harbor Police chief/vice president of public safety in May 2022 after previously serving as acting chief and acting assistant chief. Chief Fernandez is the first Latina chief of Harbor Police. She joined the Harbor Police Department as a recruit in 2001 and rose in the ranks to captain in February 2021. Over the years, she has led various department units, including investigations and intelligence, professional standards, and training as well as the patrol and administrative sections. Chief Fernandez also represented Harbor Police as a detective on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and helped establish the department’s Terrorism Liaison Officer program, which focuses on educating officers and members of the Port community on being aware of potential terrorism and criminal activities. From 1994 to 2018, she served in the U.S. Coast Guard in various roles including as a criminal investigator and as an environmental and marine casualty investigator. Earlier in her career, she was an emergency medical technician, and then a rescue diver with the Santa Cruz Search and Rescue Team. Chief Fernandez’s achievements include receiving the Port’s 2018 Chairman’s Cup Award for her peer support work in the department and being named Harbor Police Officer of the Year in 2008. Chief Fernandez is a graduate of the National Command & Staff College Leadership Program and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Colorado Technical University.