Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Public Safety: Do We Need More? Let's Study the Matter, says Santa Monica City Council

Rejecting at least three bids by Mayor Phil Brock to find money to hire more police officers, the council votes to do a study on if more are needed

SM Coalition

Man staring at mothers and children at a Santa Monica playground. Perhaps the presence of a police officer would not be amiss here?

June 28, 2024 - At a lengthy city council meeting, the legislative body refused three attempts by Mayor Phil Brock to raise enough money to hire more police officers or otherwise increase the budget for public safety. Instead, they voted to ask for a study to be made regarding if and how to increase the public safety budget that they would revisit in September.

A considerable portion of the meeting was devoted to discussing a resolution that a sign on the Third Street Promenade protesting lack of safety in Santa Monica is against the best interests of the city and should be removed.

Brock said in a phone interview that he considered it "beyond the pale" that the council could not find a way to increase public safety now. "So we're letting the city burn for another 4 months b/f we can even talk about what's needed."

Brock said he made three different bids to find the money for more police officers. His first and preferred motion was to sequester 4 percent of the city's 2024-2025 budget and direct that toward public safety. This would have required every department that receives funding to cut 4% of their budgets. The savings, between $2-3 million, Brock estimated, would go toward public safety.

When this proposal did not receive backing from the other council members, Brock moved to take the money from Councilmember Jesse Zwick's proposed tax on private parking lots and use it for public safety. Zwick had intended the money to be used for more generic "safety" concerns, most of which would make it more difficult to drive and park in Santa Monica. The entire proposal for the parking lot tax was voted down.

Brock's next attempt to find funding was his least favored: to add a parcel tax that would be devoted to hiring police officers. "I knew it was dead on arrival," Brock said. "But I wanted to let people know I was trying to do something to make the city safer."

Suspect in the attempted murder and rape of several women in the middle of a weekday morning. Yet another national crime news story coming out of Santa Monica

Along with his concern for residents, Brock is worried about falling occupancy rates in the city's hotels. Hotel guests pay significant taxes upon which the city depends. But the crime and rampant drug use, accented by national news stories like the deranged man attempted to drown and rape women on the beach and the attack on a six-year-old chid several months ago, drive potential tourists to other, safer cities.

The idea the council needs a study to determine that more police are needed is absurd, according to Brock. "You and I can walk outside and see what's needed," he said. "If they don't want to do what's necessary to keep the people in this city safe, they don't belong on that dais," Brock said of the city council.


Reader Comments(1)

Blue writes:

Neither Council nor David white or Doug Sloan want public safety. They have made this clear by refusing to enforce the law on any level and inviting out-of-area population to terrorize Santa Monica citizens. They have spoken loud and clear. They want homeowners and upstanding citizens OUT and lawless drug addicts in. There’s a plus if you own a pit bull and allow it to roam off leash in neighborhoods and the beach to p00p and pee wherever people are stepping. They have shuttered libraries, ended all traffic laws, and thrown open the city coffers to “non profits” that enrich themselves by making sure the chaos continues.