File photo.

The Santa Monica Police Department is set to increase the number of officers patrolling the city to ensure its properly prepared for any unrest that could occur in the coming days.

From Saturday, Jan. 16 until Sunday, Jan. 24, SMPD intends to implement a comprehensive plan that calls on a full complement of uniformed field personnel to be out and about in the community, highly visible and prepared to respond to any incident, Interim Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said this week.

Seabrooks added the department’s pre-inauguration preparations are a result of the events that occurred at the Capitol earlier this month and a need to be cautious of any activities that could coincide with the upcoming presidential inauguration scheduled for January 20.

“Community safety in Santa Monica is a primary priority for the women and men of your Santa Monica police department,” and they are aware that you may be concerned about the reports of possible armed protests taking place throughout the country as inauguration week approaches, Seabrooks said in the online video. However, many of the currently reported activities focus on federal buildings state capitals and other governmental facilities and, thus far, there’s been no indication of specific threats, or other activities focused on the Santa Monica community.

But the department understands the severity of the situation and the public’s concerns, so the necessary steps are being taken now to ensure that officers are well prepared, “because your safety, and the protection of our community are important to us,” Seabrooks added. “In addition to enhancing our presence within the community, we’ll continue to monitor our sources of intelligence so that we can accurately assess our situation based on the evolving nature of the information we receive. We’ll have clear lines of communication with our municipal colleagues, and our partners and federal, state and regional law enforcement.”

The chief said the department will recognize the rights of all members in the community to peacefully exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly and ensure they are protected if they wish to do so.

“I also ask that if you see something, say so,” Seabrooks said as she thanked the community for its support. “You can share your information online or by telephone… And I ask that you don’t forget to mask up when you’re out and about in town.”

Brennon@smdp.com