July 23, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica City Council Approves SMPD Schedules, Bayside Leasing, New Vehicles:

Santa Monica City Council members approved a consent calendar item last week to determine the efficiency of the Santa Monica Police Department’s (SMPD) compressed schedule. Also approved were consent calendar items amending leasing guidelines for the Bayside District and authorizing the purchase of 10 electric vehicles.

At the special March 19 meeting, Council members authorized $89,814 to be spent on a professional services agreement with California-based Citygate Associates LLC “to provide an analytical review of the Police Department’s compressed work schedules.”

According to City staff, SMPD employees work on compressed schedules. Instead of working eight hours per day for five days, for example, some employees work 12-and-a-half hours per day for three days, or “3/12.5.”

Most SMPD employees work a nine-day, 80-hour cycle, City staff added; some work 10-hour days, four days per week.

With the council’s vote last week, Citygate Associatesa will assess how the 3/12.5 schedule affects SMPD’s operations.

The 3/12.5 schedule was implemented in June 2009. With change in SMPD’s leadership almost three years later, it was revealed Santa Monica “was beginning to experience an increase in reported crime and patrol staffing was stretched thin given the need to utilize sworn personnel in other critical areas of the Police Department.”

Accordingly, the department wanted to assess the 3/12.5 schedule and determine what shifts need to be made to address the increase in reported crime.

Meanwhile, the council also approved the consent calendar item that proposed changes to leasing guidelines for businesses operating within the Bayside District (which is now referred to as Downtown Santa Monica, or DTSM).

According to City staff, changes include: “modifying the title of the document, area boundaries, and property descriptions, clarifying the procurement process and lease and license terms, and updating the list of preferred uses and evaluation criteria for lessees or licensees.”

“Given that the leasing and licensing opportunities are limited, the City and DTSM seek to encourage and support the success of independent, non-formula entrepreneurs who will offer the public quality service and value,” an entry from the proposed guidelines read.

The changes in leasing guidelines apply to vendors in open areas, such as courtyards and pavilions, and within parking structures.

Council members also approved as part of their consent calendar the purchase of 10 Toyota RAV4 electric vehicles for $554,651.

City Hall currently owns 24 Toyota RAV4 electric vehicles; according to City staff, 10 of them “are at the end of their useful life.”

City staff added Toyota is offering a $10,000 incentive per vehicle, which would be used as a down payment. Toyota Financial Services is financing the vehicles for 60 months at zero percent interest.

Though the purchase price per vehicle is $55,465, the application of three incentives, including the $10,000 incentive offered by Toyota plus two others offered by city and state fund programs, the net price per vehicle would be dropped to $22,965 (including taxes and fees).

The council cancelled its March 26 meeting and will return to its usual schedule in April.

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