Unrest: Santa Monica Police Department officials said there is no threat. File Photo

Local residents are worried Santa Monica could soon see incidents similar to the riots of last May now that a verdict in the Derek Chauvin case has been reached. But police officials took time this week to ensure residents that everything is under control.

It has been many months since Floyd was killed while handcuffed by Minneapolis Police but the tension from the events of last May haven’t waned much, Interim Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks noted this week in a video where she said, “Our general sensitivities continue to be affected by the senseless deaths of Mr. George Floyd, and more recently, Mr. Daunte Wright.”

“Because these deliberations and, very likely, the verdict will occur just as the initial stages of the case against the officer-involved in the death of Mr. Wright takes place, we here at the Santa Monica Police Department certainly understand that you may be concerned about the safety of our community,” Seabrooks added, stating the women and men of your police department are steadfastly committed to the safety of residents throughout the city.

In recent weeks, Seabrooks said, she and fellow SMPD staff have regularly met with the City’s Neighborhood Associations and Business Improvement Districts via video conferences to further explain, answer questions, and hopefully put any concerns at ease.

“Accordingly, we have been closely monitoring the events in Minneapolis and within our region,” she said, noting how local residents might have noticed a gradual increase in the deployment of field-based personnel that began last weekend.

But that’s only part of SMPD’s efforts to ensure first amendment rights and safety is upheld in the community.

“We remain in contact with our regional partners and have activated our pre-planned tiered response,” SMPD officials said Tuesday, just prior to the reading of the verdict. “You will continue to see a strong presence of uniformed police personnel throughout the city… It is imperative that our community remain vigilant at all times.”

Seabrooks concluded this week’s message by encouraging business owners to check out a comprehensive checklist of recommended actions that will keep their property safe in the coming days. The list is available online at bit.ly/2QktEnL.

“Many of these recommendations also apply to our residents. So take a peek and implement as you see fit,” Seabrooks said, mentioning there has been no indication of any threats or any activities specifically targeting our community. “Now, should that change, of course, you will receive updated information by way of community notifications or by our social media platforms.”

Brennon@smdp.com