Former LAX Police Chief, Ex-Councilman Named to New SM Oversight Commission
11-member panel also includes 2 city commissioners, 2 youth advocates and founder of AIDS Walk LA
May 5, 2021
Eleven local residents – including one former councilmember, a retired Los Angeles Airport Police Chief, two current city commissioners and two young adults – have been appointed to serve on Santa Monica's newly-created Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission (PSROC).
PSROC is the first civilian oversight body for the Santa Monica Police Department, city officials.
It was formed in early January, six months after local residents presented the City Council with a number of police reform initiatives following the nationwide demonstrations in reaction to the George Floyd killing. Last June, the Council adopted the Obama's Pledge on police reform and interim City Manager Lane Dilg appointed a public safety advisory committee to "make recommendations in response to calls for reform."
Last September, the Council directed staff to return with a draft ordinance based on the committee's recommendations to establish a police oversight commission.
"Congratulations to our 11 new commissioners, who will serve our community in an important role as we work to ensure that all residents not only are safe but feel safe," said Mayor Sue Himmelrich at Tuesday's Council meeting as she introduced the new panel. "The City Council looks forward to the recommendations, expertise, and experience of the Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commissioners. We also thank every resident who applied to make a difference in our community."
Of the 71 applicants, the Council selected the following commissioners: George Centeno, retired Chief of Police, Los Angeles International Airport; George Brown, Public Safety Reform Advisory Committee member; Jaime Cruz, youth advocate, Pico Neighborhood Partnership; Craig Miller, founder, AIDS Walk Los Angeles; and Derek Devermont, current Social Services Commissioner.
Also appointed were Miranda McLaughlin-Basseri, (young adult) Santa Monica College student; Greg Morena, former Santa Monica City Councilmember; Samantha Mota (young adult), Climate Action Santa Monica; Lana Negrete, SMMUSD Parent Teacher Association Council; Manju Raman, board member, Santa Monica Police Activities League; and Angela Scott, current Arts Commissioner and member of Public Safety Reform Advisory Committee.
"The Santa Monica Police Department's personnel welcome the opportunity to work alongside the commissioners of the newly seated Public Safety Reform and Oversight Commission to collaborate on the best and most promising practices affecting the delivery of contemporary policing services in our community," said Interim Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks.
With its commission, Santa Monica now joins the ranks of many Southern California cities with police oversight bodies, including Los Angeles, Long Beach, Burbank and Pasadena.
Among its many duties, the PSROC will also be responsible for the following:
Evaluate and make recommendations regarding ideas for implementing best practices in community-oriented policing and reimagining public safety and wellbeing;
Review and make recommendations regarding SMPD policies and practices and the proposed budget for the department;
Review information relating to any violations of procedures or policies in connection with disciplinary investigations, proceedings and actions, and make recommendations regarding any such violations; and
Promote ongoing interaction and trust building between the SMPD and community members and collaborate with the SMPD and the community to promote restorative justice.
The city is in the final stages of selecting an inspector general who will support the PSROC as they embark on this work, officials said.
Meeting information and agendas will be posted on the city's website. Go to smgov.net/departments/clerk/boards/.