July 31, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Letter from Interim Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks

By Jacqueline Seabrooks

I am honored and humbled to be asked to return home to the City of Santa Monica to serve as your Interim Chief of Police.

I want to express my deep appreciation for retiring Chief Cynthia Renaud and her leadership of the department these past few years. As I step into this role, my primary priorities will be to provide for the safety and wellbeing of the Santa Monica community.

Although in many respects I am coming home, I realize I am returning to a very different environment. 2020 has been a tumultuous year for everyone as we’ve all had to adjust to a new way of life during the COVID-19 health emergency, the resulting economic uncertainties, and the national call for social justice and police reform in the aftermath of wide-ranging social unrest.

In light of these issues, it’s with both my heart and my head that I’ve agreed to come out of retirement to serve Santa Monica in this moment. My deep appreciation for the Santa Monica community and my experience leading the talented and dedicated women and men of the Police Department will contribute to a seamless transition.

I’m eager to work alongside Interim City Manager Lane Dilg as she leads our community’s efforts to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion. Now, more than ever, this is important work. A central tenet of my approach to policing is strong community-police ties. The relationships between this community and its Police Department made my previous service quite rewarding.

As I am sure you did, I found the events of May 31 to be quite painful. In speaking on behalf of the Police Department, I want to assure you that we are committed to pushing up our sleeves and participating in the healing work necessary to restore the trust and confidence of this community even as we intently focus our attention on crime, homelessness, and other quality of life concerns.

Looking ahead, I am committed to supporting a robust, objective, and transparent after-action review led by OIR Group. I am certain this review will be a valuable resource to promote learning opportunities that will prove beneficial as we move forward. And, in moving forward, my leadership will continue to be firmly rooted in the pillars of 21st century policing.

In particular, the focus will be on fostering trust with the community and within the department, strong policy and oversight, the strategic use of technology to supplement traditional crime reduction methods, robust staff training and education, and ensuring the safety and wellness of our officers as we carry out our mission of protecting our community.

It’s through the lens of healing and collaboration that I will view the ongoing work on police reform. As I familiarize myself with recent discussions with the community, the Public Safety Reform Advisory Committee, the City Council, and others, it’s my hope that we can work swiftly to make impactful, yet balanced, improvements which ultimately reflect the needs of today’s Santa Monica.

There is no magic formula, no guarantees or quick fixes associated with this work; therefore, I will lean on those optimized practices I’ve identified through my involvement with the Institute for American Police Reform and other entities in addressing existing commitments.

As the election approaches in an unprecedented year, I want to be sure our community knows the women and men of the Santa Monica Police Department are here and will remain highly visible as we work to keep you safe.

Our safety work will include collaborations with our fellow City departments and County partners with the goal being to support a safe and fair electoral process. As always, remember that if you have information that you believe may be useful to SMPD, please email smtips@santamonica.gov.

As your returning Chief, I am here to listen to you, learn with you, and, as always, to do the work necessary to contribute to a safer Santa Monica. I’ll see you around town.

Related Posts

Library Director Patty Wong to Leave Santa Monica

July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) Director Patty Wong announced recently that she will leave Santa Monica to take on the...

City Council Prioritizes Housing for Historically Displaced Households

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

At its meeting on July 13, Santa Monica City Council made changes to Santa Monica’s Affordable Housing Production Program and...

Homeless Man Charged with Hate Crime in Assault of Korean Woman in Santa Monica

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Melvin Taylor faces charges in connection to July 23 incident By Sam Catanzaro Hate crime charges have been filed against...

Homeless Advocate Arrested Near Shelter on Suspicion of Dealing Drugs, Claims no Wrongdoing

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

65-year-old Garry Featherstone accused of selling meth, PCP By Sam Catanzaro A self-described homeless outreach advocate was recently arrested near...

Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa Monica: Santa Monica Beat – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Off Leash Dog Park And Picnic Area Coming To Downtown Santa...

Two Arrested for Main Street Bike Shop Burglary

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

Two suspects were arrested for the burglary of a Main Street bike store after the owner witnessed the crime via...

Council Selects Berkeley Deputy City Manager to Helm Santa Monica

July 23, 2021

July 23, 2021

David White to be Santa Monica’s next City Manager starting in October  By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica City Council has...

Ocean Park Library Set to Reopen

July 20, 2021

July 20, 2021

New self-service hours begin July 28 By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Public Library’s Ocean Park Branch is set to...

Police Tase Suspect Following Santa Monica Beach Stabbing

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

32-year-old man arrested Sunday evening on Santa Monica Beach, suffers head injuries in arrest By Sam Catanzaro As part of...

Santa Monica Beat: Santa Monica Beat – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Serial Killer Arrested by SMPD Sentenced to Death * New Grants...

Santa Monica May Ban Lobbyists From Serving on Boards and Commissions

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

City Council instructs staff to draft ordinance to bar paid policy advocates from serving on board, commissions, task forces   By...

Water Near Santa Monica Pier Remains Questionable as Beach Closures Lifted Following Sewage Discharge

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...