By Arthur Jeon

I just plowed through the “Recommendations of the Santa Monica Public Safety Reform Advisory Committee” and I truly am astounded by it. In response to our city being mercilessly looted on May 31st (and narrowly avoiding another attack last week), in response to rising crime and drug-addicted homelessness, the recommendations of this committee read like woke satire.

The report says 70% of all calls handled by the police arise from the public and over-index in accusations of people of color, “including suspicious person, trespassing, disturbance of the peace, and homeless calls.” This report’s conclusion? “All members of the Santa Monica community need to proactively reexamine their own explicit and implicit racial biases.” That’s right, Santa Monica, the most liberal city in the country, with famously the most highly trained and restrained police force, must all stop believing their eyes and start looking inward the next time we reach for the phone to call 911.

Oh, and after acknowledging most SMPD will never fire their gun in their entire career, even more than the nationwide of 70% who won’t, our police should stop refreshing their perishable gun skills. Yes, because that’s what we want, less-skilled officers around the one tool that can end a life in a high-stress situation. Because what we have is too many people of any color getting shot by SMPD. Really?

Believe me, I could go on and cite endless examples of this committee drawing the wrong conclusion in the city’s haste to out virtue-signal Brooklyn, NY. The report refers to and did a lazy lift of Campaign Zero’s entire platform, without apparently thinking if it applies to Santa Monica. But the City Council is misunderstanding the mood of Santa Monica residents right now, who don’t feel beleaguered by the police, but are beset by a sense of lawlessness on the street.

The average citizen wants safe, clean streets. They don’t care if the addict in the alley breaking into their car, or stealing their bicycle, or defecating on their lawns and parks, or burning priceless books in our library cum homeless shelter, is Black, Asian, Hispanic, or White. We want a police force that’s quick, responsive and professional. Oh wait, with the exception of the inexplicable stand down watching our city get looted (now that was some police restraint), we have one.

We also want our police to be backed by a City Council that will enact ordinances that SMPD can use to enforce a return to order. Oh wait, hopefully we’ll have that after the upcoming election.

I’ve lived here 25 years and as a runner and dog owner, I’m on the streets all the time and have seen hundreds of Police interactions, including being in a couple myself. In not one have I even heard a raised voice from a SM police officer interacting with a suspect. They don’t need any more use-of-force de-escalation training. If anything, the inmates are running the asylum because they know the police don’t have the tools or desire to handle them. We are all carrot, no stick, and are patting ourselves on the back for our compassion, while self-flagellating with the other hand for our racism. Sorry, neither are true.

Time to wake up and see the reality of what Santa Monica is right now. A small town beleaguered by big-city problems that are only going to get worse if we keep spending money trying to solve problems that don’t exist. Social workers teamed with cops? Sure, I saw that work in a ride-along with Erika Aklufi. Endless struggle sessions that leave cops feeling unsupported and misunderstood? No thanks. Hiring more “consultants” to state the obvious? Please. Spend the money on hiring another social worker or cop.

Time for some new leadership. This team is clueless. Four City Council seats are up in November. Vote.