Chief Mark G. Stainbrook

Chief of Police
San Diego Harbor Police Department (HPD)

Mark G. Stainbrook is the Chief of Police of the San Diego Harbor Police Department (HPD), which is the premier police presence on the San Diego Bay, the San Diego International Airport, and on all Tidelands around the Bay. The Department is comprised of 180 employees/volunteers and has jurisdiction in the five member cities of the Port District, which include San Diego, Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, and National City.

Mark retired as a lieutenant from the Los Angeles Police Department, where he served in a variety of assignments including patrol, gangs, internal affairs, intelligence and counter-terrorism. Mark is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. He has over sixty LAPD commendations.

In his second career, Mark is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserve with 31 years of military service. He is currently assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), Camp Pendleton, California. Mark’s personal awards include the Navy-Marine Corps Medal for heroism, as well as the Army Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal.

While serving in Iraq in 2003, Mark was tasked to reconstitute Iraqi police units in Baghdad. His experiences were chronicled in the article “Seven Days in Baghdad” (Police Magazine, December 2003). Mark was extensively interviewed and quoted during Operation Iraqi Freedom by CNN, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, The Washington Post, and the BBC.

Mark graduated with honors from California State University Long Beach with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy Administration. His Master’s thesis, Attitudes of American-Muslims towards Law Enforcement: A Comparison of before and after September 11, 2001, was the catalyst for his selection to a Fulbright Police Fellowship. During his Fulbright, Mark was a visiting fellow at Leeds University in the Religious and Theology Department, and was also seconded to the West Yorkshire Police Force. He studied and worked in local West Yorkshire Muslim communities for six months, including the suburbs of Beeston, where the “7/7 London bombers” resided.

Mark has worked with the U.S. State Department in Kenya, Nepal and India to train their police forces on counter-terrorism, criminal intelligence and community policing methods.

Mark has authored several law enforcement articles in Police Chief Magazine including, “Learning from the Lessons of the 2008 Mumbai Terrorist Attacks” and “Policing with Muslim Communities in the Age of Terrorism.” He also wrote a book chapter, “Pioneer Always Take the Arrows: LAPD Outreach to Muslim Communities in Los Angeles” – in Preventing Ideological Violence: Communities, Police and Case Studies of “Success” edited by P. Daniel Silk, Basia Spalek & Mary O’Rawe.

Mark joined the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies as a Senior Fellow in June 2016.