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New Police Chief for Santa Monica to be Announced “Shortly,” City Manager Says


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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

March 8, 2018 -- Nine months after then-Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks announced she would retire, the City is about to name her permanent replacement, City Manager Rick Cole tweeted Wednesday.

“I'll be announcing a new Chief for @santamonicacity shortly,” Cole said in a tweet posted on the City’s website (

“Equally high expectations, including a passion for: Fighting crime and social disorder; creating a 21st Century policing agency; embracing diversity and pursuing equity & inclusion; nurturing community identity, pride,” Cole wrote.

Seabrooks, who has hired in 2012, said in May she would be retiring from department at the end of September ("Santa Monica's First Female Police Chief
Announces Retirement,"
May 8 2017.

Cole named Kenneth Semko, then a captain, interim chief ("Santa Monica Taps Police Department Veteran to Serve as Interim Chief," September 11, 2017).

Naming a permanent replacement for Seabrooks comes at a time when the cityside community is dealing with an increase in violent crime.

Mostly recently a jewelry store robbery on Montana Avenue sparked a manhunt -- so far unsuccessful –- for a suspect in flight through the North of Montana Avenue neighborhood ("Santa Monica Police Identify Suspect in Jewelry Store Robbery," March 2, 2018).

In a city unaccustomed to violent crimes, a series of home invasions, murder and shootings has unnerved residents.

Crime could be a crucial issue in the November election, especially when increasingly irate neighborhood organizations and others are demanding change ("Santa Monica Slow-Growth Group Shifts Focus to Crime," March 2, 2018).

The Santa Monica Police Department has 436 fulltime employees, according to the 2017-2019 biennial budget.

SMPD’s budget for the 2017-2018 year totaled $87.5 million and is pegged at $90.8 million for 2018-2019.

That made SMPD's budget the highest among comparison cities, with $932 spent per resident, compared with $554 on average for the peer cities, according to an outside audit ("Monica Police Cost, Low Clearance Rate," January 23, 2018).


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