David Lazar

Photo of Assistant Chief Lazar
Assistant Chief
Chief of Operations

Assistant Chief David Lazar is a 4th generation San Franciscan and became a member of the San Francisco Police Department in 1991. He attended public school while growing up in the Sunset and Richmond Districts of the City, graduating from Downtown Senior High School in the Mission District. Assistant Chief Lazar was inspired at a young age to join the SFPD as his mother was a Police Dispatcher. He spent his teenage years as a Police Activities League Cadet. 

Assistant Chief Lazar has extensive policing and command-level experience. He has been assigned to eight of the ten district stations, working all over the City in patrol and in various capacities from officer through the rank of Captain, serving in leadership and management roles since 2001. After his work as a Sergeant in patrol and an Inspector in the Investigations Bureau, he was promoted to Lieutenant and managed patrol shifts, was the Director of the Police Academy, and started Operation Outreach, coordinating the Department’s Response to Homelessness.  

In 2008, Assistant Chief Lazar was promoted to Captain and had the opportunity to command ten separate assignments throughout the Department in the Field Operations, Investigations, Special Operations, and Administration Bureaus including the Night Supervising Captain, Domestic Violence, Juvenile, Homicide, Robbery, the Gang Task Force, Ingleside Station, the Forensic Services Division, the Urban Area Security Initiative, the Training Division, and Central Station. 

Assistant Chief Lazar’s project management experience led to developing and implementing the Department’s Auxiliary Law Enforcement Response Team. 

Assistant Chief Lazar has two decades of tremendous experience planning, managing, and leading policing for both small and large planned and unplanned events including 1st Amendment demonstrations, critical incidents, and large-scale parades such as the Pride and Chinese New Year’s Parade and major events such as the America’s Cup in 2013 and Super Bowl City (50th NFL Super Bowl) in 2016.   

Assistant Chief Lazar was promoted to the rank of Commander in February 2017 and tasked with the responsibility of establishing the Department’s first Community Engagement Division. In this role, he was designated as an Executive Sponsor for 60 of the 272 recommendations from the US Department of Justice Collaborative Review Initiative on Community Policing reform, developing the Department’s Strategic Plan on Community Policing and managing various community engagement programs.  

In 2018, Assistant Chief Lazar led the facilitation of opening the City’s Healthy Streets Operations Center. “HSOC” which has been established to bring the City’s partners together in a collaborative setting to address homelessness and street behavior in real time.  

In 2019, Assistant Chief Lazar was promoted to Deputy Chief and oversaw the Investigations Bureau which included all of the Department’s Criminal Investigators, the Crime Scene Investigations Unit, the Crime Laboratory, and the Identification Bureau. 

In 2021, Assistant Chief Lazar was selected to lead the Field Operations Bureau which included the 10 district police stations and the Department’s Community Engagement Division.  

In 2022, Assistant Chief Lazar was promoted to Assistant Chief and currently oversees Operations for the Department which includes Field Operations, Special Operations, Investigations, and Airport Bureaus. In addition, he oversees the Community Engagement Division.    

He has been an Instructor at the Police Academy since 1998, teaching subjects on Community Policing, Professionalism, Leadership, 21st Century Policing and Criminal Law. 

Assistant Chief Lazar holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Project Management from Saint Mary’s College and is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police Class 49, Boston. He has completed California POST’s Supervisory Leadership Institute and Executive Development Course. He graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government State and Local Executives Course, the Major Cities Police Chief’s Police Executive Leadership Institute Class 8, and the International Collaboration on Policing Program with US Police Agencies in Scotland with Police Scotland.  

Assistant Chief Lazar is so very grateful to serve in the City where he was raised and resides.