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An Interview With Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks

Seabrooks spoke with The Huffington Post about everything from 2013’s shooting at Santa Monica College, the problems with homelessness and safety issues surrounding the upcoming the Expo Light Rail Line.

Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks. Credit: City of Santa Monica
Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks. Credit: City of Santa Monica

Jacqueline Seabrooks became the Santa Monica Police Chief in May, 2012.

With just over 18 months on the job, she spoke with The Huffington Post about some of the issues and challenges that come with her position.

Asked about the June 7 2013 killing spree by a lone gunman in Santa Monica that ended at Santa Monica College, Seabrooks said, “As we hosted President Barack Obama in the morning, we also responded to the circumstances of the spree shooting. As I reflect on the day, I am proud of the three officers who stopped the threat -- these men are heroes. I am also proud of my law enforcement partners... While I am certainly saddened by the scope of the tragedy, I am energized by the knowledge that the definitive actions of the three officers ensured that no other innocent lives would be taken.”

Seabrooks also spoke of the challenges that come with Santa Monica being a top tourist destination, noting that, “We are challenged with balancing the demands of providing effective public safety services in a highly sophisticated, dynamic environment. "... our largest challenge is to be thoughtful, firm, fair, yet sufficiently elastic so that the environment remains visitor friendly even as we strive to ensure community safety.”

Regarding the upcoming Expo Light Rail Line to Santa Monica  - slated to open in 2015 - Seabrooks said, “We are developing staff training so that our personnel are able to promptly respond to public safety needs on and in the areas adjacent to the rail line.  We are adjusting our internal systems and approaches to ensure that we continue to be responsive to the needs of our community. And we are working with our public safety partners to ensure that the rail experience in Santa Monica is positive.”

Seabrooks was also asked about the issues surrounding drugs, gangs, prostitutes and homelessness but was quick to point out that homelessness should not be placed in the same conversation as gangs, drugs and prostitution. “While there certainly may be an overlap, homelessness in and of itself is not a crime,” she said. “…. Homelessness is a nationwide challenge and the City of Santa Monica is not immune from that challenge."

Read the full interview with Seabrook on the Huffington Post  here.

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