Members of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Commission raised questions at their meeting last night about the sensitivity training given to Sheriff’s deputies after a local resident complained about the way he was treated when reporting an attack by his former husband.
Larry Workman, who on Aug. 22 woke up to discover Randy Tullis inside his house carrying an ice pick, also complained that Sheriff’s deputies declined to charge Tullis with assault. Workman said that Tullis lunged at his neighbors with the ice pick, one of whom he said had taken Workman away from him. Tullis had tossed blood red paint on the front of Workman’s
That neighbor, Brian Treadway, told the Commission he continues to live in fear because Tullis remains free. Tullis was charged with felony vandalism for breaking into Workman’s house and has been released on $20,000 bail.
“He was arrested, but bumped his head on his way into the squad car and was taken directly to the hospital instead of jail, and then was bailed out, and never taken to jail,” Treadway said.
“As far as today, I live my life on lock down,” he said. “I literally arm myself to walk to the laundry room… It isn’t a matter of if he will come back, but when.”
Both Workman and Treadway said they were concerned that the sheriff’s deputies who responded to their call for help didn’t include the ice pick attacks in their official crime report. They suggested that might be because the Sheriff’s Station wants to cover up the number of such violent crimes in West Hollywood.
“The people of West Hollywood look to the Sheriff’s department for protection…,” Treadway said. “If it turns out that their self interest is their higher priority, we are all in danger.”
Workman, referring to a report from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Station on local crime published on WEHOville, said: “Who is reporting this data? Is it the very agency that is concerned about keeping their contract with the City of West Hollywood…. Will the assaults that occurred at my house be counted?”
The City of West Hollywood contracts with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department for public safety services, spending about $18 million a year for a force of about 150 officers.
Workman also complained that efforts he has made over the past two years to get the Sheriff’s station to act on his complaint that his ex-husband has an unregistered gun have been ignored. “They’ve told me all along, ‘why don’t you boys just work this out?’” he said of his contacts with Sheriff’s deputies. On one occasion, Workman said, a deputy said: “I’m not sure how they are going to handle your gay divorce.”
Commissioners Marci Norton and Ruth Williams questioned Lt. David Smith of the local Sheriff’s station about whether deputies are receiving sensitivity training so that they can properly deal LGBT people. Roughly 46 percent of West Hollywood residents identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. Norton also said she was concerned that her requests to attend one of the sessions went unanswered. Estevan Montemayor, another commissioner, also expressed concern about what Workman said. “I was taken about by some of the remarks that were reported,” he said. “I never want to hear something like that come back to the Commission again.”
Smith said there were two training sessions regarding LGBT sensitivity last year. He said he was open to trying to arrange more sessions or sessions for officers who have newly joined the station if Commission members could find someone to conduct them. Smith also denied allegations that the Sheriff’s station attempts to cover up serious crimes. He said he has talked with the deputy who filed the crime report that didn’t mention the ice pick attacks. Smith said a detective was assigned to investigate the Workman case earlier this week.