Chief: Batista was sworn in Monday. Courtesy photo

Santa Monica Police Department’s newest Chief, Ramon Batista was officially sworn into service Monday morning in front of City Hall.

Batista was accompanied by his wife Nina and daughter Annemarie. His sister was also in the crowd along with his cousins.

He will be the City’s first Latino Police Chief, which reflects the organization’s commitment to build a diverse workforce that better represents the community.

“I was born in Los Angeles, and I’ve always been very, very proud of my birth city. And yes, I’ve been a lifelong Dodgers fan since childhood,” he said.

Mayor Sue Himmelrich and council along with City Manager David White welcomed the City’s new chief.

“We have a lot of good work and good trouble ahead of us and on behalf of the entire council, we look forward to a long and successful collaboration with you and the dedicated officers of the Santa Monica Police Department,” Himmelrich said.

Batista was welcomed with warmth and enthusiasm by his peers and all in attendance.

“You shared that you dreamed about becoming a police officer as a young boy. It is truly amazing and humbling to be standing here with you today as you continue to live your dream, and be sworn in as our next Chief of Police,” White said.

Batista believes that policing means safeguarding people’s lives and providing public safety. He said it is the police department’s responsibility that residents and visitors of Santa Monica feel safe every day.

“Here in Santa Monica, and let me emphasize that, here in Santa Monica the philosophy of service, strong values, and a desire to serve with honor are wholeheartedly embedded in the culture of the Santa Monica Police Department,” said Batista. “And in the years to come, we will continue the work of collaboration with you, of building trust and legitimacy through transparency. We will work with you and our city partners to find long lasting solutions to our pressing issues.”

The City’s new Chief of Police began his career with the Tucson Police Department in 1986, and worked his way through the ranks. He has had many roles including the assistant Chief of Police, and in 2017, was appointed as the Police Chief in Mesa, Arizona.

Batista has been recognized for his leadership skills and for forging strong bonds with the community. He’s also the co-author of the book “Do No Harm: 5 Steps to Align Police Actions with Community,” which was published last October and hones in on the steps police departments can take to align police actions with community values.

“Santa Monica, we will do this together and I can’t wait to get started. And frankly, I can’t wait to get out there and meet all of you,” Batista said.

Daniel@smdp.com