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City Seeks Applicants for Police Oversight Commission

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica

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By Lookout Staff

February 11, 2021 -- The City is seeking candidates of "diverse backgrounds and experiences" to serve on Santa Monica’s first civilian police oversight commission.

Appointed by the City Council, the 11-member Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission will work with the Police Department and experts to "recommend reforms to SMPD policies, practices, and handling of complaints regarding SMPD conduct," City officials said.

Members will serve staggered terms of up to 4 years and will participate in regular (at least monthly) meetings.

Members must be Santa Monica residents with "a significant commitment to the public safety and wellbeing of the City and its community members," officials said.

They also must have knowledge of or experience with law enforcement, public safety policies and issues or social services policies and issues.

At least two of the commissioners will be between the ages of 18 and 22, officials said. City employees are not eligible to serve.

The Commission will have the power and duty to:

  • Review and make recommendations regarding SMPD policies and practices;

  • Receive information relating to any violations of procedures or policies in connection with disciplinary investigations, proceedings, and actions, and make recommendations regarding any such violations;

  • Collaborate with the SMPD to sponsor and promote ongoing interaction and trust building between the SMPD and community members, including providing channels and opportunities for ongoing dialogue between the SMPD and community members in both organized and informal settings;

  • Promote transparency and availability to the public of SMPD data and records;

  • Collaborate with the SMPD and the community to promote restorative justice;

  • Evaluate and make recommendations regarding ideas for implementing best practices in community-oriented policing and reimagining public safety and wellbeing; and
  • Review and make recommendations regarding the proposed budget for the SMPD.

Members of the Commission must receive training "relevant to providing oversight of law enforcement and to the understanding of racial justice."

The Commission has 150 days after it first meets to present a set of initial recommendations to the Police Chief, City Manager and City Council.

The recommendations will address "proposed reforms for handling complaints regarding SMPD conduct, including proposed reforms for the intake, review, and investigation of complaints and the oversight of disciplinary decisions and policies," officials said.

The Commission also must provide written reports of its activities to the City Council at least every six months and at Council’s direction.

The Council will review applications and select members during a City Council meeting in spring.

To learn more and apply, visit

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