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Santa Monica Police Chief’s Message to the Community

January 27, 2023 

Dear Santa Monica Community, 

The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Tyre Nichols and the entire Memphis community. SMPD holds dear the sanctity of human life, is steadfastly committed to our oath of office, and embodies the ethos of Constitutional policing by treating everyone with dignity and respect. Our values (integrity, courage, accountability, innovation, and respect) guide our actions and behaviors. SMPD unequivocally condemns the actions of the five officers involved in this incident, as they do NOT represent the principles of our profession. At the Santa Monica Police Department, we honor our commitment of serving and protecting our community. 

As our Nation mourns, we recognize and defend the right to peacefully assemble and exercise our First Amendment rights. Our department is committed to protecting those who wish to exercise their freedom of speech with the same vigor that we protect our city. 

While Freedom of Speech and its expression through peaceful gatherings are the cornerstone of democracy; acts of violence, lawlessness and thievery will NOT be tolerated. 

The priority of the SMPD, and the City of Santa Monica remains the safety of our residents, visitors, merchants, and their employees. Your police department is actively monitoring local and national information to determine if there are any planned actions in Santa Monica or surrounding areas while simultaneously mobilizing and preparing city resources should the need arise. 

We will remain vigilant and will have a highly visible public safety presence throughout the city. We are in close coordination with local area law enforcement partners. In addition, we are working closely with multiple partner departments including the Fire Department, Office of Emergency Management, Department of Transportation, and Public Works to ensure additional resources, if needed, are ready to be deployed. 

Your police department is prepared. Our goal is to protect our city and maintain a peaceful environment for all. 

Our relationships and partnerships with YOU are a vital component to the fabric of safety that is our community. We would like to remind everyone, that if you See Something Suspicious, Say Something – by calling Police / Fire Dispatch at (310) 458-8491 or 9-1-1 in a life-threatening emergency. 

Please follow us on our Twitter or Facebook, @SantaMonicaPD. 

Sincerely, 

RAMÓN BATISTA 
Chief of Police

in Opinion
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