Photo by Matthew Hall.

Santa Monica residents will not see a report on the May 31 looting this year, let alone before this year’s election.

Any company hired to complete an after action report will have about six months to complete the work with the option to extend that timeline if necessary according to recently posted documents.

“The selected firm will be asked to complete its independent after action report and evaluation on an expedited timeline with the goal of having a final written report and evaluation within 180 days,” said a request for proposal (RFP) posted this week. “The selected firm may, however, extend this time frame if it determines that additional time is necessary for it to complete a thorough independent report and evaluation. The selected firm will be required to provide bi-weekly updates regarding progress on the gathering of information and the preparation of the report and evaluation.”

On May 31 large groups of criminals flooded Santa Monica following a peaceful protest for racial justice. While significant looting occurred in the Downtown area, SMPD deployed officers to confront ongoing protests including the use of tear gas and rubber bullets. Eventually, National Guard troops were called in to restore order.

“A number of Santa Monica’s residents have criticized the preparation for and handling of the protest, looting, and violence that occurred on May 31, 2020 by the Santa Monica Police Department (“SMPD”),” said the RFP. “That criticism has extended to the City Council, Interim City Manager, and SMPD Chief. That criticism has also extended to statements made by various City representatives to the media and the community on May 31 and subsequently to actions taken by the City in the days following May 31.”

Santa Monicans were initially promised two reports about the incident. The first would be an after-action report listing the timeline and facts. The second would provide analysis of the facts. City officials said publicly that the first report would be finished in August of this year but the police department said it was unable to prepare the document and handle regular police work. In response, council has authorized staff to hire a third party company to combine both reports into a single document.

“The firm selected will be provided with initial materials gathered by the SMPD and other City Departments, including in particular the Fire Department and Emergency Operations Center. Additional materials gathered by the SMPD and other City Departments will be provided on an ongoing basis,” said the RFP.

The selected firm will be responsible for independent conclusions and recommendations.

“The firm selected will also be responsible for developing and implementing procedures to provide community members and local businesses an opportunity to provide documents and information and their views regarding the City’s response,” said the RFP.

Companies interested in the project have until Sept. 24 to apply for the work.