Fremont has appointed the first female and openly gay police chief in its 62-year history.

In a statement Monday morning, City Manager Fred Diaz announced he appointed Kimberly Petersen, a captain with the Fremont Police Department, as the next top cop. Her appointment will become effective July 26, following the retirement of Police Chief Richard Lucero.

Petersen has served as a captain in Fremont for more than five years and has 22 years of experience in the department. She’ll become the city’s seventh police chief.

Diaz said he was pleased to appoint Petersen to the position because of her “tactical and technical knowledge of police work” as well as her decades of experience.

“Kim has a high degree of intellect that will lend itself to Fremont’s unique community attributes and complexities. She’s also bright, creative, and articulate, all of which will serve her well as she leads the department and community in the years ahead,” Diaz said.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this extraordinary team of people who dedicate their lives to protecting the city of Fremont,” Petersen said in the statement. “I am grateful to be part of such a distinguished agency within a supportive community.”

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Petersen earned a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University and a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School. In her career as an officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant and captain, she has worked patrol and investigations and has overseen the traffic, K-9 and communications units.

She also was a member of the SWAT team for more than seven years and led the tactical emergency medical support team for four years, according to the city.

Petersen was selected from a pool of three internal candidates — all of them police captains in the city with more than 20 years of experience. The other captains were Sean Washington and Fred Bobbitt.

Information about how much Petersen will earn as chief wasn’t immediately available, though the city’s pay scales indicate the chief could earn between $191,000 and $266,000 in base salary, depending on experience.

In 2017, according to city figures, Petersen earned $209,000 in base salary and $329,000 in total compensation, including benefits.

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