On Monday, the West Hollywood city council voted 3-2 to cut five Sheriff’s Deputies from the police patrols. THEN they voted to extend bar hours to 4 a.m. WeHo, (West Hollywood) is known as a predominately gay village with a population of nearly 36,000. The City Council apparently ignored the fact that crime in the city has risen 137%, according to the LA County Sheriff’s Department. Or they didn’t care.
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The 60 deputies at the West Hollywood station Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department patrol the West Hollywood entertainment district. Now they will have 56 real deputies. The city is “reallocating” the funds to a “Block by Block” program of unarmed “ambassadors.” How well do criminals respond to “ambassadors?” This could be entertaining…or deadly.
Shyne’s amended budget re-allocates the funds for the sheriff’s deputies to the Block by Block program, which staffs the unarmed, blue-shirted security ambassadors who provide the city with supplemental law enforcement services. Two deputies will be removed in six months, and three more deputies will be removed six months after that, though an Entertainment Policing Team deputy will be restored. Thirty Block by Block security ambassadors will be added to the program’s contract…
Shyne said the sheriff’s record of combating crime was not keeping pace with the rising costs of the department, and that the Block by Block program represented more “bang for the buck.”
“What we know now is our residents want foot patrols. We need to be fiscally responsible. And we have all talked for two years. Reimagining policing means reallocating funding. You can’t just say it without actually doing it. Period.”wehoville
West Hollywood is home to the infamous “Sunset Strip.” The glitzy entertainment venues all along the strip are a high crime area, and now patrons will be able to drink longer.
The vote was split, and brought public backlash. Many residents and business owners were highly upset with the decision.
“We need our deputies on the street, and we need more of them. We need them on foot patrol. We need them on bikes. We need to bring back whoever was defunded, and even add more. Crime is up. People are yelling for more public safety, not not less.”Ruth Williams, co-founder of West Hollywood (She has now passed away).
As the LASD Sheriff’s Department stated, “We would like to thank all the residents who were opposed to this vote and responded in its opposition. It appears outside activists had more weight than the residents of West Hollywood.”
Featured screenshot of West Hollywood
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