Last night, the Santa Monica City Council approved budget appropriations for a $400,000 donation to the We Are Santa Monica Fund to support the Santa Monica Police Department Cadet Program. This donation is one of the largest contributions ever made to the We Are Santa Monica Fund, and will expand the Police Cadet Program, enhancing public safety in Santa Monica while preparing Santa Monica young adults to pursue a career in public safety. The $400,000 donation includes $100,000 donations from three Santa Monica businesses and one individual: Douglas Emmett Properties, Macerich Management, Ocean Avenue LLC/Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows, and Jeff Worthe.

Since its creation in 1967, the Police Cadet Program has employed college students with the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD), where they spend several years rotating among various assignments to deepen their understanding of how SMPD supports all community members through its operations, while also serving as liaisons between the Department and local youth. Upon completion of the program, many participants go on to join the ranks of law enforcement agencies, as sworn officers or in civilian positions, both locally and federally as educated and uniquely qualified public servants. The program was cut as a result of the 2020 budget restructuring and, through this donation, will be reinstituted to support the futures of local youth.

“The Santa Monica Police Department Cadet Program has brought tremendous value to our community,” said Santa Monica Police Chief Ramon Batista. “Many Cadets have been raised in Santa Monica and are uniquely qualified to understand the needs of their fellow residents. This program embodies the goals of community policing, and through this generous donation, I am eager to see the lasting, positive impacts of the Police Cadet Program on our community.”

This donation was received through the We Are Santa Monica Fund, which is a Donor Advised Fund facilitated by California Community Foundation. Previous donations to the We Are Santa Monica Fund have assisted local non-profits in supporting cultural organizations, assisting small businesses, investing in programs that advance racial equity, and more.

“From food security to equity work to funding small businesses, I have seen first-hand the impacts the We Are Santa Monica Fund has had on our community. From food security to advancing equity to making grants to help fund small businesses and so much more, I have seen first-hand the positive impacts the We Are Santa Monica Fund has had and will continue to have on our community. We are highly appreciative of the generosity of Douglas Emmett, Jeff Worthe, Macerich Management, and Fairmont Miramar in their investment in our community. It will truly make a difference,” said We Are Santa Monica Fund Advisory Board Chair Rhoda Weiss, Ph.D.

For information about the We Are Santa Monica Fund, visit santamonica.gov/programs/we-are-santa-monica. For more information about the Police Cadet Program, visit santamonica.gov/programs/police-cadet-program.

Submitted by Constance Farrell, Communications and Public Information Manager