For 25 years Capt. Jacqueline Seabrooks has served the city that has been like a second home to her — Santa Monica — but as she enters the next phase of her law enforcement career, she will have the chance to serve the city in which she lives.
Seabrooks, 45, an Inglewood resident and the highest- ranked woman in the Santa Monica Police Department, has been appointed as the first female chief of police for the Inglewood Police Department.
Currently commanding officer of the Santa Monica Office of Criminal Investigations, Seabrooks said she is “extremely excited” to continue her career as the top cop for the city where she has lived for four years.
“It’s an opportunity to give back to the community where I live,” said Seabrooks, who was selected as the new police chief by the Inglewood City Council Tuesday, August 14th. “I feel honored to have been selected from a pretty stellar field of law enforcement professionals.”
Seabrooks achieved other firsts for women while at the Santa Monica Police Department, as she was the first woman to be promoted to the rank of sergeant, lieutenant and captain in the department’s 111-year history.
To add to the feats Seabrooks has accomplished for women, she will become one of 15 women who head law enforcement agencies in California and only the second woman to lead a municipal police force in Los Angeles County, according to the Santa Monica Police Department.
When Seabrooks begins her new position Monday, October 1st, she will take over from Inglewood’s interim police chief, Julius Davis, who has served in that position since May last year, when Chief Ronald Banks retired.
Having been an officer in Santa Monica since October 1982, Seabrooks said she will miss the community and her fellow officers, who “are like family,” but she added that she is ready to take on the next phase of her career.
Santa Monica Police Chief Timothy Jackman, who took over the position at the beginning of the year, commended Seabrooks for her service and dedication to the department over the last two-and-a-half decades.
“Capt. Seabrooks’ leadership and influence have been far-reaching in the law enforcement arena, in this organization and certainly in the community,” Jackman said in a statement.
Lt. Alex Padilla, who has known Seabrooks since she first joined the department, said he was immediately impressed with her leadership skills and “take charge” personality.
“We will miss having her leadership. She’s a hard worker and doesn’t hesitate to get involved,” said Padilla, adding that as an Inglewood resident, he will get to have Seabrooks as his police chief. “Inglewood will have the benefit of her years of experience with the Santa Monica Police Department.”
For Seabrooks, becoming the chief of a law enforcement agency is the natural next step for someone who has spent over a quarter of a century in the field and risen through the ranks, she said.
“I think it’s a logical progression of a 26-year career,” Seabrooks said of making police chief. “A lot of people have helped me along the way.”
She joined the Santa Monica department after serving a year with the California State Police.
Jackman said Seabrooks moved “steadily” through the ranks in Santa Monica, being promoted to sergeant in 1991, lieutenant in 1996 and captain in 2001.
Over the years she has led the department’s Office of Special Enforcement and Office of Operations, and currently the Office of Criminal Investigations, which is responsible for the apprehension of criminals through investigation, recovery of stolen property and criminal court case evi- dence.
Among her highlights in Santa Monica was helping to coordinate the department’s recruitment programs that have helped lead to diversity in the police force.
Another highlight for Seabrooks was facilitating the officer training program in the area of cultural competencies, which she says led to the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance being able to gain certification for its Tools for Tolerance program.
While Seabrooks has chosen to advance her career in a different police department, she is pleased to know that her departure will “create some turnover opportunities” for other officers at the Santa Monica department.
During her years in Santa Monica, Seabrooks has been an active supporter of the Police Activities League youth programs by running the L.A. Marathon with the youths five times and bicycling it twice. She has also taught college-level criminal justice courses and volunteered as a tutor through a literacy program hosted by the Santa Monica Library.
Originally from South Los Angeles, Seabrooks holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public administration. She is a graduate of the FBI’s National Acad- emy and the Senior Management Institute of Police.
As she heads to Inglewood, Seabrooks acknowledges that she will have much more responsibility as the head of the police agency.
“I will be responsible for positioning the organization to continue its forward progress in the 21st Century,” she said.
Her immediate plans will be to meet with people in the community and police department to learn what their goals are for the city, she said.
“I’m looking forward to the next chapter in my professional life,” Seabrooks said.