Jacqueline Seabrooks, a former veteran Santa Monica police officer, will return to Santa Monica to become the first woman to serve as the city’s police chief.

Seabrooks, who has served as the first female police chief in the city of Inglewood for four and years, was tapped to lead the Santa Monica Police Department after a three-month, nationwide search, City Manager Rod Gould said. Pending finalizing the hiring process, she will take charge of the police department in May.

Seabrooks will replace former Chief Tim Jackman, who retired last month after serving for more than five years. As Santa Monica police chief Seabrooks will receive a salary of $238,752, and she will manage a department with a budget of over $70 million and 443 employees, including 215 sworn staff members.

With extensive experience in both field operations and administration, Seabrooks has covered the spectrum of public safety posts from traffic safety to tactical commander, and information technology to department collaboration with community partners, Gould said. She has a strong track record in leadership, fiscal management and skill training initiatives, he added.

“I am delighted to announce that Chief Seabrooks will return to Santa Monica to complete her remarkable career in law enforcement,” said Gould. “Twenty five years in the Santa Monica Police Department, rising from police officer to captain and holding numerous specialty assignments in between, have prepared her well to lead this department.”

Gould noted that the candidate pool was deep in executive level experience from some of the premier law enforcement agencies in the country. To ensure that the process was as objective and comprehensive as possible, Santa Monica engaged the services of the International City County Management Association and International Public Management Association for Human Resources to advise on the recruitment.

The five finalists underwent a full-day assessment process March 27 that involved exercises designed to replicate day to day challenges for the police chief in Santa Monica.

“Chief Seabrooks distinguished herself in the selection process. I believe that she is the right person to lead the department in this second decade of the new century and to make an already high performing police department even stronger,” Gould said. “Chief Seabrooks has deep ties to the community and members of the organization and will be very active and highly engaged with both.”

Seabrooks first joined the Santa Monica department as an officer in 1982 after serving a year with the California State Police. She rose through the ranks to become the first woman promoted to sergeant, lieutenant and captain in the organization’s history.

She briefly served as interim Santa Monica police chief prior to being appointed the top cop in Inglewood in October 2007.

“I am equally honored, humbled, and excited to accept this offer to work in the Santa Monica community as its next chief of police,” said Seabrooks. “I am particularly happy to be joining a community that is so involved and leading a police department with great achievements in public safety.”

Seabrooks has a masters degree in public policy and administration from California State University-Long Beach and a bachelor of science degree in public administration from California State University-Dominguez Hills.