The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station is having problems staffing foot patrols that were lauded as an effort by it to respond to crime in the city’s nightlife areas.
Under questioning last night from Public Safety Commissioner Ben Coleman, Sheriff’s Lt. David Smith said he estimates that the station has been able to staff only 60 percent of the patrols it had promised.
In July, in response to reports of a number of attacks in the Boystown nightlife area on Santa Monica Boulevard, the Sheriff’s station said it would implement two foot patrols, each with two deputies
The foot patrols in the Boystown area were to take place from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. on every night but Wednesday. The area covered by the deputies runs along Santa Monica Boulevard from Hancock to La Peer and includes Robertson Boulevard, which is home to gay establishments such as The Abbey and Here Lounge.
The foot patrols on the Eastside, conducted one night a week, cover La Brea Avenue to Fountain and also Santa Monica Boulevard to Poinsettia Place on the west and Romaine Street on the north. Currently deputies on duty cross the 1.89 square mile city in squad cars rather than on foot.
Smith said the foot patrols are staffed by deputies who want to work over time and that they cannot be required to do so. Coleman noted that he didn’t see foot patrols on Sunday of Labor Day weekend, which Smith confirmed. A major incident that inspired the foot patrols was the assault on Memorial Day weekend of Kirk Doffing, a West Hollywood resident, near Rage, the gay bar on Santa Monica Boulevard.