Santa Monica City Officials Warned of Potential for Violence on Library Grounds Where They had Contracted for Unarmed Guards
On Friday evening, one homeless man fatally stabbed another in the north courtyard of the Main Santa Monica Public Library
August 8, 2022
August 2, 2022 - City officials were warned of dangerous conditions on the grounds of the central Santa Monica Public Library well in advance of the fatal stabbing Friday evening in the north courtyard of the building.
Santa Monica property and business owner John Alle has been recording the takeover of the city's downtown by vagrancy and crime since the start of the Covid-19-related lockdown in 2020. On July 8, 2022, roughly three weeks before the library stabbing, he emailed city officials about his interview of an Allied security guard who was parked in his vehicle on the library grounds, mere yards from the location of the future stabbing. Allied Universal Security was given the task of patrolling the library grounds during the night hours, starting around 6 pm.
"If unarmed Allied Guard Brian sees vagrants with drugs, asleep or carrying weapons, as most do, he stays away from his own safety," Alle wrote of his conversation with the guard. The guard is supposed to leave the area and call the police from a safe distance. "Because the police are not fully staffed before 6 am, it takes 45-50 minutes for police to arrive," Brian told Alle, who related the conversation to city officials.
The result is that "The vagrants and drug users have unrestricted use of the library exterior and adjacent surface parking lot, because these are both areas Allied will not venture into," Alle wrote the Council in early July.
Later in the month, on July 18, Alle wrote to SMPD Chief Ramon Batista that "From midnight to 8 am the back and front of our beautiful Main Library are full of addicts high or passed out, inside and out, and in the parking areas that the City pays Allied Univerasl Security is supposed to patrol, but does not." Alle added that "I have watched SMPD vehicles pass the Library at 8 am and not stop."
Alle has decried the lack of police foot patrols in the downtown and on the Third Street Promenade during night hours, when instead of armed polilce, unarmed Ambassadors and Allied Security are supposed to act as the police's "eyes and ears." However, the police have historically been so difficult to reach or respond that many of the Ambassadors no longer even attempt to call them but simply walk away from a problem individual.
On June 27, Alle wrote an email to city officials detailing the poor job Allied was doing patrolling the garages and alleys, with drugged-out individuals blocking stairwells, elevators taken over for drug use, and urine on the floors. In that email, Alle wrote, "Someone's going to get hurt or killed again. We are a week away from the 1-year anniversary of the brutal rape attempt, then murder in one of our Parking Garages."
SMPD still does not patrol at night in the downtown or on the Third Street Promenade.