July 16, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

City Approves Downtown’s $1.7M Contract With Private Security Firm

DTSM Will Evaluate the Pilot Program by Reviewing Crime Statistics and Surveying Stakeholders

By Zach Armstrong

City Council approved a proposal by Downtown Santa Monica Inc. to contract a private security firm, Covered 6, for additional security and clean up services downtown in the form of a year-long pilot program.

The funding will come primarily through reductions to DTSM’s ambassador services with the rest coming from DTSM’s budget toward supplemental private security services. 

Earlier this year, DTSM Board of Directors appointed an Ad Hoc Committee to recommend changes to its budget for enhanced safety.  On May 3, the committee recommended allocating as much as $1.7 million from its budget toward supplemental private security services Downtown. DTSM will evaluate the Pilot Program by reviewing crime statistics, surveying stakeholders and seeking input from the City. 

Earlier this month, Santa Monica Mirror asked readers if they approved of the private contract with Covered 6. Our results were as follows:

Yes, it is what is needed to keep the local community safe – 58.67%
Yes, but preferably that money wouldn’t have gone to a private contract – 10.67%
No, upgraded security is the last thing we need – 5.33%
No, that money should have been spent on the City hiring officers themselves – 25.33%

The approval by City Council is part of the overall approval of DTSM’s overall FY23-24 Budget and Work Plan with anticipated revenues of $10,208,033 and anticipated expenditures of $10,629,733. 

“DTSM provides enhanced services in the areas of public safety, custodial maintenance, outreach, and marketing, while also helping to monitor and coordinate City’s services.” an agenda item read. “Together, DTSM and the City fulfill the responsibility of creating a thriving and inviting community space for everyone. Operations and Public Space Management services make up 70% of DTSM, Inc’s FY2023-24 budget.  This priority area includes the following directives:  Public Safety, Advocacy and Oversight, Parking Structure Custodial Maintenance, Enhanced Custodial Maintenance, Parks Attendant/Restroom Monitoring and Social Outreach, and Placemaking and Beautification.”

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