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Santa Monica Taps First Woman to Head Police Force  


By Jorge Casuso

April 3, 2012 -- Inglewood Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks has been tapped as Santa Monica's new chief, making her the first woman to head the beach city's force, City officials announced Monday.

Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks

Seabrooks, a 25-year veteran of the Santa Monica force and Inglewood's chief for the past four and a half years, was chosen after an intensive three-month nationwide search that drew top law enforcement candidates from across the country, said City Manager Rod Gould.

Pending finalizing the hiring process, Seabrooks -- who has extensive experience in both field operations and administration -- will take over the post vacated by Chief Tim Jackman, who retired in December.

Chief Seabrooks. Courtesy of SMPD

As Chief of Police, Seabrooks will draw a salary of $238,752 a year and manage a department with a budget of more than $70 million and 443 employees, including 215 sworn officers.

“I am delighted to announce that Chief Seabrooks will return to Santa Monica to complete her remarkable career in law enforcement,” Gould said in a statement issued Monday. “Twenty five years in the Santa Monica Police Department have prepared her well to lead this department.

"Jacqueline Seabrooks’ four and one-half years as Chief of Police in Inglewood have tested her and proven her metal," Gould said. "While at Inglewood, she has provided great service to that community in stabilizing and improving law enforcement services, despite tremendous external scrutiny and budgetary pressures.”

Seabrooks said in a statement: "I am equally honored, humbled, and excited to accept this offer to work in the Santa Monica community as its next Chief of Police. I am particularly happy to be joining a community that is so involved and leading a Police Department with great achievements in public safety. ”

Before leaving to take the top post in Inglewood, Seabrooks, who joined the Santa Monica Police Department in 1982, moved up the ranks, becoming the first woman to earn promotions to sergeant, lieutenant, and captain in this organization’s history.

During her rise, Seabrooks worked in traffic safety, information technology and community affairs, reaching the rank of commanding officer of the department’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI). Along the way, she gained experience in fiscal management and skill training initiatives, City officials said.

During her last year in Santa Monica, Seabrooks was responsible for leading a crackdown on gang violence in the Pico Neighborhood, known as Operation Safe Streets, before becoming only the second woman to head a municipal law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County as Inglewood's first female chief.

Seabrooks has a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Administration from California State University, Long Beach and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She is a graduate of both the FBI's National Academy and the Senior Management Institute of Police.

During her tenure in Santa Monica, Seabrooks was a volunteer mentor and tutor for Santa Monica's youth in her spare time and taught law enforcement-related courses at various area colleges.

She is a member of several professional associations including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and she serves as a board member of the California Police Chief’s Association.

Santa Monica "went to great lengths" to find a new chief, sorting through a "candidate pool (that) was deep in executive level experience in some of the premier law enforcement agencies in the United States," Gold said. 

The finalists underwent a rigorous process that included 35 interviews with members of the department and the community and a full day assessment that involved six exercises designed to replicate day-to-day challenges facing a Santa Monica police chief.

“Chief Seabrooks distinguished herself in the selection process," Gould said. "I believe that she is the right person to lead the department in this second decade of the new Century and to make an already high performing Police Department even stronger."


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