June 6, 2022 1:47 PM
by Anuj Gupta
The City of Santa Monica is dedicated to being a safe and welcoming place, and ensuring a high quality of life for all its residents, workers and visitors. Addressing the ongoing public safety and quality of life questions in the downtown area remains a top priority, and the City deploys a comprehensive and collaborative approach to meet community needs by focusing on public safety, hospitality, maintenance, sanitation, and custodial services, working in close partnership with Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. Here are some related community updates:
The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) is working diligently to increase policing and outreach efforts to address concerns around public safety downtown. A new special operational unit in the downtown and Promenade area has been added to supplement the downtown service unit that polices our downtown 7 days a week. The special operational unit includes:
- Increased Safety Measures: Two additional sworn officers and two public safety officers assigned to the Downtown area seven days a week. Additionally, two officers have been assigned to quality of life issues at the bus stops in the downtown area.
- Overnight Security: Public safety officers will continue to perform overnight checks of the parking structures in partnership with private, contracted security officers.
- Neighborhood Resource Officer: SMPD will assign a Neighborhood Resource Officer to a satellite office on the 1300 block of the Promenade to increase visibility, speed, and coverage and provide more direct interaction and coordination with business owners.
- Public Safety and Homelessness: The Downtown Neighborhood Resource Officer will work with the department’s Homeless Liaison Program to connect unhoused individuals in the downtown area to services and shelter.
- Overall, Downtown Santa Monica parking structures are seeing lower crime rates (including burglary and theft from motor vehicles) in the last month.
- Crimes are lower than pre-pandemic levels in Santa Monica and our City has experienced a decrease in crimes as opposed to other city’s crime reports across LA County. Part I Crime in Downtown Santa Monica has decreased 27% compared to 2018 and decreased 9% compared to 2019. Part II Crimes in Downtown Santa Monica have decreased 33% since 2018 and decreased 40% compared to 2019.
SMPD continues to proactively partner with other law enforcement, community organizations, and private security to address public safety through a collaborative effort, and we’re already seeing positive impacts of redeployment efforts that began in April 2022. Officers are more visible, response times have been reduced, and we’re continuing to monitor crime trends in real time.
The City’s Promenade Maintenance and Parking Operations Divisions combined with efforts by private businesses and Downtown Santa Monica Ambassadors work to provide extensive maintenance, sanitization and custodial services daily.
- Sanitization Services: Trash removal occurs four times a day and staff service 200 trash cans throughout the district.
- Custodial Services: A dedicated crew of 20 line staff cover 2-3 million square feet daily to ensure the cleanliness and sanitization of streets, public restrooms, sidewalks and streets, forestry and Promenade amenities.
- Parking Services: Downtown Santa Monica’s 13 public parking structures and three surface lots are monitored 24/7 by staff who routinely walk through and inspect each facility, including elevators, multiple times over a 24-hour period.
As part of the collaborative approach to address quality of life issues, the non-profit organization Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (DTSM), supports City services by providing enhanced maintenance and an added physical presence in the Downtown district to address quality of life issues in real time.
- Downtown Santa Monica: Offers 24/7 assistance with maintenance and cleanliness, coordinating employee escorts, routing emergency calls to the Santa Monica Police and Fire Departments, directions and recommendations to businesses and other requests.
- DTSM Sanitation and Custodial Support: Supports sanitation and custodial efforts in parking structures, public restrooms, alleyways and sidewalks.
- Downtown Ambassador Program: DTSM oversees the Downtown Ambassador Program, which provides staff trained in a variety of tasks addressing hospitality, custodial, safety and quality of life concerns in the downtown district. Outfitted in branded uniforms, Safety Ambassadors are specifically trained in de-escalation tactics and utilize Segways, bikes and foot patrols to maintain a high level of visibility and respond quickly to calls of service. Ambassadors are also on call to escort downtown employees and others to their vehicles in the late evening hours. They can be reached at (310) 877-7731.
The following contacts are the best numbers to reach for specific community needs.
- 9-1-1: If someone is experiencing a medical emergency or immediate threat to one’s life or safety.
- www.LA-HOP.org: Submit requests for homeless outreach assistance utilizing the LA Homeless Outreach Portal.
- (800) 854-7771: Department of Mental Health if someone is experiencing psychiatric/mental crisis.
- (310) 458-8491: Non-emergency police and fire response in Santa Monica.
- 3-1-1 or email@example.com: Non-emergency City Service requests for specific items like graffiti removal or code enforcement.
Moving forward, City leadership and staff continue to collaborate with local businesses, property owners, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc., contractors, and community partners to continue to work to maintain public safety, improve quality of life for our residents, workers, and visitors, and address emerging needs. We thank our entire community for joining us in our continued efforts to make Downtown Santa Monica a safe and inviting place for all to enjoy.
Deputy City Manager