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    Captain Thomas McLaughlin - Patrol Operations Division

    Thomas McLaughlin

    Captain Thomas McLaughlin is currently the Commander for the Patrol Operations Division responsible for Patrol , the Downtown Services Section, Harbor Services, Public Services Downtown Unit, Community Services Officers, Field Training Officer and the Canine Program.  

    Captain McLaughlin joined the Santa Monica Police Department in March 2001. He graduated from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Basic Police Academy and was sworn in as a Police Officer in September 2001, just a few days after 9/11. Over the course of his career, he has worked several patrol assignments and held special investigative positions as a detective and served in a Federal Taskforce. His supervisory positions include Patrol Sergeant, Field Training Program Sergeant, Robbery/Homicide Unit Sergeant, Internal Affairs Sergeant, Watch Commander-Police Lieutenant, Operations Division Executive Officer, and Criminal Investigation Division Lieutenant. He was promoted to Captain in February 2020. In this role, he oversaw the  Criminal Investigations Division responsible for Investigations in the areas of Crimes Against Persons, Youth and Family Services, Robbery, Homicide, Narcotics, and Vice, Forensics and Records.

    Aside from his primary duties, Captain McLaughlin is the Department’s Liaison to the City Attorney’s Office Civil Division, liaison coordinator to Risk Management for all Workers’ Compensation claims; and Instructor with the Santa Monica Institute (SMI) for Ethics and Leadership.  As the Department’s Liaison to the City Attorney’s Office Civil Division, he works together with our attorneys (and outside counsel) in preparing our defense when the City or Department find themselves as a named defendant in civil complaints.  He is a Board Member with the Santa Monica Police Activities League and the Human Relations Council – Santa Monica Bay Area.  

    Upon graduating from high school, Captain McLaughlin attended Cypress College, California State University Long Beach, and Chapman University.  He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice. He has attended professional development programs including the Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute – Class 350, Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) Executive Development course, POST Management course, POST Civil Liability Course, and the POST Internal Affairs Course. He has been the recipient of Unit, Office, and Chief’s Commendations. 

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