Santa Monica Police Chief Timothy Jackman announced at the last City Council meeting that the City’s Community Oriented Policing model is being reassessed due to criticism that has come from within his department as well as from the community.
In his comments to the Council, Jackman noted the current Community Oriented Policing called Neighborhood Centered Policing (NCP) has been utilized by his department since 2003. When it was implemented, the City was divided up into four Neighborhood Service Areas (NSAs) and police lieutenants, rather than patrol officers, were assigned to handle community issues.
At the time, it was believed that the lieutenants “through their rank…could more efficiently and in a timely manner reassign personnel, resources and equipment to address community concerns in each specific Neighborhood Service Area.” However, despite attending community meetings regularly, the lieutenants did not establish the “day-to-day relationships and contacts between the community and its patrol officers” that the community would like them to have.
Therefore, in order for his department to establish a more personal relationship in the community, the department is “evaluating our patrol plan and the distribution levels of all of our personnel and resources” with the goal of assigning patrol officers to specific geographic locations by July 1.
The Council also authorized the City Manager to purchase the property located at 1338-42 5th Street, which is currently owned by Carlson’s Appliance. The 15,000-square-foot site is being purchased for $6 million plus closing costs, and will be turned into an additional City-owned downtown parking structure.
Finally, the Council requested City staff to return with a defined process and options for the creation of a temporary office building east of City Hall for addressing City Hall’s space needs. Currently, City offices are located at City Hall and at other leased sites throughout the City. The City staff report states “this decentralization results in operational inefficiency as well as creates decreased level of customer service by having staff not located at City Hall. The lack of space also has prevented the development of improved office space for the Mayor and Council to meet with the public.”