Settlement reached in police union lawsuit against the city of Santa Monica

Santa Monica Police Officers Association reaches agreement with City

From Dolores Quintana

The Santa Monica Police Officers Association (SMPOA) recently resolved its charges against the city of Santa Monica relating to a recently created public safety reform and oversight commission. Her charge has been filed with the Public Employment Relations Board. After a unanimous vote of the city council of six to zero, these demands become part of the structure of the commission.

In that settlement, it was agreed that a twelfth non-voting member would be added to the commission, selected by the SMPOA and the Santa Monica Police Chief, but who could not be a member of the Santa Monica Police Department or a city official.

The comparison limits the involvement of the Inspector General, who oversees the work of the Commission. The city budget provides the inspector general’s services, but the IG can gather information about police disciplinary investigations but cannot participate in the investigations itself. The IG is not permitted to disclose police personnel or disciplinary records to the commission or any other party unless disclosure is supported or required by federal or state law.

The city council previously decided to set up the OIR group as the Commission’s IG after investigating and reporting to the council on the riots of May 31, 2020 and the SMPD’s response to it. The council voted for a five-year contract for $ 700,000 with OIR as the commission’s inspector general.

The other concessions contained in the comparison relate to the commission itself. The commission is not allowed to participate in disciplinary investigations against persons in the department, but can refer complainants to the SMPD.

The Commission must give 72 hours notice to the City Director, the Police Commissioner or the Police Union of any reports the Commission receives. The current commissioners have until May 31, 2021 to complete any required racial justice and police oversight training, while newly appointed members have six months to complete this training.

“The sworn officials represented by SMPOA are committed to a safe and fair Santa Monica, where the rights of all people are protected, and we hope this marks the beginning of a new era of collaborative collaboration with this most important goal. “SMPOA said in a statement. They added that they are thrilled to be making “meaningful reforms that will make Santa Monica a leader in community policing.” and that “now is the time to reconsider our ideas about public safety”.

While the SMPOA’s lawsuit alleged that the city did not accept members of the SMPOA as advisors in the formation of the commission, the city of Santa Monica responded that not only members of the police department were part of the advisory committee on public security reform, but had members of the SMPOA. In addition, the city announced that both parties had participated in the debate during the city council meetings.

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