The top job in the City’s Police Department will rotate among three senior officers until a permanent successor for Chief Butts is chosen, it was announced last Friday, August 25, by City Manager P. Lamont Ewell. In a memo to the Mayor and the City Council, Ewell said, “Because there are several of our command staff within the department who are desirous of becoming the City’s next Chief of Police, and in an effort to demonstrate fairness,” a rotation would be implemented.
Ewell’s memorandum continued, “[B]eginning this weekend Deputy Chief Sanchez will begin serving as Interim Chief for the next thirty days. Captain Smiley will serve as Chief during the second thirty day period and Captain Seabrooks will serve during the final thirty days. All are in agreement to be supportive of one another to ensure that the interests of the department and city residents remain a top priority.”
It is expected that a new Chief will be chosen by the end of this 90-day period. September 22 is the deadline for the submission of candidates’ resumes in the process being organized by Ewell and the Sacramento search firm of Peckham & McKenney.
Deputy Chief of Police Phillip L. Sanchez, a 26-year SMPD veteran, is the first executive to serve as the Deputy Chief of Police in the Department’s history. In 1991, he developed SMPD’s Special Entry Team (the Department’s SWAT resource). He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Redlands.
Captain Mark Smiley has been with the Santa Monica Police Department for 25 years, 12 at the rank of police officer. He was a firefighter in Apple Valley, California at the age of 18, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of LaVerne.
Captain Jacqueline Seabrooks has spent more than 23 years with SMPD and has law enforcement experience with the California State Police Division as well. She is the highest ranking woman in the Department and was the first woman to earn promotions to sergeant, lieutenant and captain in the Department’s 110-year history. Captain Seabrooks has earned both Master’s and Bachelor of Science degrees in Public Administration.
All three officers are graduates of the FBI’s National Academy and are possessed of experience, distinctions and capabilities well beyond the scope of this very brief summary.