SANTA MONICA—On Thursday, January 25, the city of Santa Monica announced on its website that Matthew Hallock was appointed to become the new chief of the Santa Monica Fire Department, City Manager David White disclosed. He comes to the area from the city of Monterey Park, where he has served as fire chief since 2020.

Hallock has over 24 years of experience in public safety and emergency response, starting his fire service career as a reserve firefighter in 1994, then returning as a firefighter in 2002 and rising through the ranks. He has experience working in the private sector, spending four years as an emergency preparedness planner at Southern California Edison.

Photo courtesy of the city of Santa Monica.

As chief in Monterey Park, he led his department and the community through the pandemic, as well as the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

“Chief Hallock showed outstanding leadership and compassion during his tenure in Monterey Park, shepherding the fire department and the entire community through two major crises,” said White. “And with his vast experience in emergency preparedness and response, I am confident he will be a tremendous asset to our city leadership team.”

Hallock replaces Interim Fire Chief Wolfgang Knabe, who has held the acting role since September 2023.

“Santa Monica is known for its commitment to community safety, and I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the exceptional Fire Department team,” said Hallock. “I look forward to building upon the department’s strong foundation and working collaboratively with our community to ensure the highest level of emergency services.”

Hallock has a master’s degree in public policy and administration from California State University, Long Beach and is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program through the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy. He will begin his position on Monday, February 12, where he will earn a yearly salary of $303,588.