Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Here's How to Find the Money to Hire More Police Officers in Santa Monica

An open letter to the Santa Monica City Council

Dear Council,

The city is broke! We are told the council must choose between paving our alleys or hiring more police, as crime, addiction, disorder, and mental illness has become our new brand. (Just in the last couple weeks, tourists have been stabbed, robbed, or had their windshield shattered as they entered the city-welcome!).

This immigrant, whose dream was to graduate from a pushcart to a store in SM, in six months has been robbed twice on the 3rd street promenade. Watch the heartbreaking video and hear him talk about how the police were called and there was a two-hour response. I had a similar experience last week, when a crazed addict jumped the gate from our alley and into our complex, petrifying the new mom who was sitting with her baby in the unit they recently purchased-welcome to Santa Monica! She called 911, texted me, and I rushed over. A drone was dispatched immediately, but it took half an hour for cops to arrive because they were swamped with other calls. I cleared the nooks and crannies of the building myself, clutching pepper spray.

This is just another day living near downtown, but indicative of a police force struggling to keep up with demand. Well, good news, I've found some money! Companies and institutions are disassembling their DEI programs across the country because they don't work, actually create racial animus, and are immune to metrics. We should eliminate our program instituted in the feverish year of 2020, when we wanted to prove we were all down with the cause-Santa Monica, so good a solving problems we don't have!-and, of course, petrified at being called racist.

For those of you clutching your pearls at the thought of dismantling DEI, I refer you to the always entertaining and brilliant Scott Galloway as he smartly dismantles DEI in 5 minutes. Watch it! A lifelong Democrat, he makes the case that class, not race, is the only way to approach the staggering inequality in our society. (Indeed, race relations have gotten worse since 2014 because, um, surprise... the more you focus on race, the more it becomes all you see. And in an ironic twist proving the point, our black former head of HR is suing the city for racism after being fired. I know nothing about the merits of her case, but I can't believe she suffered racial discrimination by our City Manager David White, who would be the only person who had the power to do it.

But I digress... Let's get serious about line-by-lining Santa Monica's bloated budget, larded with overpaid staff. And let's start with this million bucks:

For Fiscal Year 23/24, the total budget for the DEI team is $1,017,989. Of this amount, $642,989 is for salaries and benefits. There are three individuals assigned to this work. The rest of the budget for the DEI Team is allocated to a Language Access Program($100,000), the Inspector General for the Public Safety Reform Oversight Committee (PSROC) ($250,000), and programming resources for the DEI team ($50,000). The Inspector General is required pursuant to the City's Municipal Code and is what was implemented prior to the current city manager joining the City in January 2021.

Well, guess what? The City Council can change the municipal code. It is done by ordinance and whatever change they make takes 30 days after the second reading to become law. I propose the council change it in the meeting on June 22nd and immediately assign the million dollars to hire 4 more sworn police officers. Show us that you are serious people who understand what's at stake. Because the Santa Monica mall just went broke, not helped by the fact that that strip of Broadway is a zombie apocalypse from Lincoln to ocean (Century City mall? Just fine). While you're at it, cut PSROC which costs a fortune and wastes hundreds of man hours of our overtaxed police.

And for those of you too afraid, or too tribal, or just too timid to make these decisions, here's some backup and the money quote from Nicholas Kristof's article in the New York Times called What Have Liberals Done to the West Coast? "Politics always is part theater, but out West too often we settle for being performative rather than substantive." Unfortunately, a picture of Santa Monica appears in the dictionary when you look up the word performative. But, as I always say, centrists now have cover because the call is coming from inside the house from lifelong Democrats like myself, and even liberal of liberals, Nicholas Kristof.

Leadership requires the ability assess reality clearly and to be decisive. So, in addition to cutting this worthless program, immediately hire a NEW independent auditor to investigate every city department and cut the fat, grift, and virtue-signaling boondoggles (in both staff salaries, and expenditures).

Stop hauling performative sand to the beach and start finding the money to solve the problems we do have. We need 300 cops; we're at 230. Unless you enjoy news reports of businesses being driven from the city, act now.


Reader Comments(1)

Sandy writes:

There is no shortage of money. The shortage is of criminals facing consequences and the unlimited import of drug addicted lunatics into our city. They come here from all over the country knowing they get all services and freedom to do drugs beachside. Breaking laws should have consequences. Even though the DA Gascon refuses to charge crimes, Santa Monica city attorney can charge every single misdemeanor in our city. But he doesn’t. It is a policy choice by council, David “$400k” white, and city attorney to not prosecute crimes. This leads to more chaos and crime and victimization of innocent taxpayers. It’s wrong. Vote differently. Please.