Public safety advocates Ben Coleman, Jake Lee hang up volunteer hats, blame city politics

Two of WeHo’s most visible advocates for public safety turned down an offer by the city to continue their volunteer efforts this week, accusing city leaders of “playing politics” over prioritizing safety.

Ben Coleman and Jake Lee, former block co-captains of the Center City Alliance Neighborhood Watch, were contacted via email by Jasmine Duckworth, Community Affairs Coordinator for WeHo, who inquired about their interest in reviving the group.

Coleman and Lee co-wrote a pointed reply, which was CC’d to City Council.

“The city refuses to publish meaningful descriptions of criminal suspects,” they wrote. “City Council members openly welcome criminals and have called for defunding law enforcement programs. Some City Council members even support policies and political candidates (including George Gascon) who take the side of criminals over victims and squash effective policing that keeps residents safe.”

The pair began their advocacy in 2011 with Keep WeHo Safe, a Facebook and Twitter blog focusing on crime and safety in West Hollywood. Coleman served on the Public Safety Commission from 2015-2017.

“The swift degradation of our city has been highly discouraging to both of us,” they wrote. “While both Jake and I continue to have real estate and business ties in West Hollywood, neither of us (nor our families) physically spend time in West Hollywood any longer due to the rising crime and deteriorating conditions.”

The full text of their letter is below:

Hi Jasmine,

Thanks for reaching out. As you may know, Jake and I took over as block captains of the Center City Neighborhood Watch several years ago from disgraced West Hollywood activist Ed Buck. You can imagine the condition in which we found things at the time.

Despite the obstacles, Jake and I turned the group into one of the largest (if not the largest) and most active Neighborhood Watch groups in West Hollywood for several years. We also operated the biggest and most well attended National Night Out block parties for several years in a row. In addition to our full time jobs in the private sector, we each donated many hours, year after year, as unpaid volunteers because we care about protecting our families, our neighbors, and our neighborhood from criminals.

However, we began to realize that our efforts to bring the community together, with the goal of preventing crime, had become increasingly futile in a city where the leadership was playing politics with public safety.

The city refuses to publish meaningful descriptions of criminal suspects. City Council members openly welcome criminals and have called for defunding law enforcement programs. Some City Council members even support policies and political candidates (including George Gascon) who take the side of criminals over victims and squash effective policing that keeps residents safe.

It has become very clear that the leadership of West Hollywood has chosen some perverted version of woke “social justice” over actual justice. They care about politics above public safety and fighting crime. The results are on display for the world to see, and every resident and visitor can see it, every day.

The swift degradation of our city has been highly discouraging to both of us. While both Jake and I continue to have real estate and business ties in West Hollywood, neither of us (nor our families) physically spend time in West Hollywood any longer due to the rising crime and deteriorating conditions.

Thank you for including us, but we will respectfully decline your invitation. We wish you and the remaining residents of West Hollywood the best of luck.

With best regards,

Jake Lee
Ben Coleman
Former Co-Captains, Center City Alliance Neighborhood Watch

 

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Mike
Mike
4 days ago

So what I take away from the comment section is that : if you dance/listen to thug music in bars,night clubs,strip clubs,in your vehicle or support football or basketball in WEHO/Hollywood… you probably encourage the criminals to overthrow the city…that pretty much happened in every city in the United States and abroad Tho !!!

Last edited 4 days ago by Mike
Bill G Skywatcher
Bill G Skywatcher
16 days ago

This is an easy issue to decide who is right and wrong. The Sheriff’s Dept has to public crime statistics. Has crime gone up or down in WeHo? It certainly seems not only is there more crime, but the crimes are much more severe. It used to be rare to hear of a shooting, robbery, or stabbing in West Hollywood and I used to think nothing of walking around WeHo at night. I don’t any more. How can politicians put their citizens at risk for an experiment in social justice? If politicians are coddling criminals for a political agenda, they… Read more »

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
1 month ago

Hot damn. This is how we win. Progressivism is the death-knell of any people, and should be mocked and shunned forever.

Bill G Skywatcher
Bill G Skywatcher
16 days ago

The problem isn’t “progressivism,” it’s putting putting people at risk over an ideology, and both right and left can be equally guilty.

Jake Lee
Jake Lee
1 month ago

I’ve been quietly reading all of your comments for the last week and although everyone is entitled to have a voice, I can no longer be silent. I’d like to thank all those who have supported us and our endeavors. For the last 12 years Ben and I have relentlessly advocated for public safety with tenacity, voracity and without prejudice. In this time, we lobbied for traffic calming measures, had numerous meetings with Sheriff officials, City Council members, planning commissions and Public Safety officials. We’ve spent collective months organizing National Night Out Block Parties which required enormous amounts of time while… Read more »

Bully Sighting
Bully Sighting
27 days ago
Reply to  Jake Lee

Hmmmm. Frustration with city officials? Some felt you were confrontational with them hence they may not have supported whatever your efforts were. Likewise confrontational with residents. Sofas and mattresses can’t speak for themselves so is the public to believe that you handled this? And how? They are still appearing on the streets? Graffiti removal? Where specifically did this occur? We can take your word for walking folks home or getting them out of harms way but this is a general human consideration not particular to a Neighborhood Watch Captain. Do you want a medal or a posthumous badge following your… Read more »

PrincessX
PrincessX
9 hours ago
Reply to  Bully Sighting

said some s***head city official. lol.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
21 days ago
Reply to  Jake Lee

You’re acting like you are the only 2 people who do good deeds in the city. Get over yourself. Your ego needs a reality check.

Have fun in MAGA country.

Joe Bolgna
Joe Bolgna
16 days ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Popularity breeds contempt. You dream at night of being a good-looking confident patriot. You know you do. Lol

Joe Bolgna
Joe Bolgna
16 days ago
Reply to  Jake Lee

Jake Lee and Ben Coleman are heroes. It was very inspiring to read about them and their response to the nonsense and virtue signaling politics that have overtaken West Hollywood. Thank you both for your previous service in helping to promote a safer WeHo. Can’t fix stupid. But we can move away from it.

PrincessX
PrincessX
9 hours ago
Reply to  Jake Lee

Thank you for everything you did. We were in WeHo for 20 years and finally left last year to move out of state. Best decision of our lives. It was so sad to see all these WeHo city council people just using city council to move their careers forward without caring about the actual city. When people vote, they should vote for people who have no larger political ambitions. People who have ALREADY had a successful career and they’re just doing this because they love the city. The Lindsay Horvaths and their ilk are a plague.

Patricia Dixon
Patricia Dixon
1 month ago

I live on North Laurel Avenue and for all the years that Jake and Ben have been co captains of neighborhood watch they have had (or I’ve been notified of) exactly one meeting, maybe two. I don’t know what they did as part of their volunteer commitment as captains, (other than the two night out events), but as a resident, I can honestly say they have done nothing. At the beginning they were supposed to create a phone chain list advising the residents of this area of any crime taking place, but I know that didn’t happen. I didn’t even know we had captains anymore… Read more »

Ben Coleman
Ben Coleman
1 month ago
Reply to  Patricia Dixon

Luckily for you, Pat, I have the receipts to counter your lies. To this day I still hold the email list as well as all of the many emails that were sent out to residents over several years notifying them of NW meetings, NNO events, crime alerts, and a myriad of other related subjects. This in addition to the Twitter and Facebook pages we created that are still in existence for the NW, where we did the same. Not to mention the numerous meetings we took with city officials where we advocated for more services and protection of our neighborhood.… Read more »

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben Coleman

Don’t mind the haters, dude.

Pat Dixon
Pat Dixon
29 days ago
Reply to  Ben Coleman

a long written response just disappeared. Ben, what am i lying about. i did not receive any emails about nw meetings. i don’t care if you wear a red cap, a blue cap or a fireman’s cap on your head. i hate when these things become personal. your duties were to make the neighborhood watch a community involved program, but it never was. i’m glad you were able to help people but as far as the big picture of laurel and norton streets, i am underwhelmed. and it is not me hating either of you. i just think in the… Read more »

Joe Bolgna
Joe Bolgna
16 days ago
Reply to  Ben Coleman

Thank you for setting the record straight, and for helping to keep the city safer in the past.

Cy Husain
1 month ago

It looks like “Public Safety” has taken over as the new racist dog whistle as opposed to the good old fashion “law & order” and, the unelected racists “public safety” advocates are whining mad that they are NOT getting everything they want to combat their imaginary fears. So they are leaving West Hollywood (they claim to really mean it this time). YES ❗ 🎉

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 month ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

Cy please stop commenting.

Cy Husain
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoFan

WehoFan PLEASE support and make donations to Black Lives Matter Los Angeles ❗ 💝

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
1 month ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

Oh, you mean the group that looted and burned down stores in Melrose, Fairfax, Robertson, Santa Monica…

Cy Husain
27 days ago

Your false allegations do NOT change history, the Black Lives Matter march through the Great City of West Hollywood was one of the largest and most widely supported events seen ❗ ✊🏽

PrincessX
PrincessX
9 hours ago
Reply to  Cy Husain

FROM their official Twitter: Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians. We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation. (always have. And always will be). #freepalestine

Don’t think that will fly for long in Hollywood. We’re pretty Jewish out here 🙂

Last edited 9 hours ago by PrincessX
Patricia Dixon
Patricia Dixon
1 month ago

Spoiler

hifi5000
hifi5000
1 month ago

Wow, after reading all the comments on here,I will think twice about coming to West Hollywood as the city described here seems to be on the decline and is not safe like it should be.

The commenters on here should start seriously thinking about how to make the city safer and more livable.The tone on here makes the city appears not to want to be a leader anymore.When a city declines any leadership role,it is in danger of becoming irrelevant and less thought of.

Randy
Randy
1 month ago

Ben Coleman’s support of Trump has everything to do with this. Please, people, let’s not act like he is an upstanding citizen who supports public safety, who was/is simultaneously in support of that candidate.  First of all, I don’t know when he moved from WeHo, but I believe it has been at least two years. So this is grandstanding BS. If you care about the community, then stay in it.  Second, he was not just a member of the LA Log Cabin group, but I believe a leader in that group (because I called him out on this, and he… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Randy
greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
1 month ago
Reply to  Randy

First of all, I agree with you 100%!

Second, you should know that you’re not allowed to mention Trump in the comments section because his legion of supporters will come after you. Wehoville’s comment section has grown overwhelmingly more MAGA/conservative over the past 6 months.

Randy
Randy
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Thank you very much, sir. But this very post, was feeding into the Trumpism. That started before I arrived. Just the very mention of him, I think anyone in the community knows who we are talking about. Sorry Larry, but I would almost think this is Clickbait. Please keep these guys off your site. They don’t even live here anymore. They deserve zero media attention.

Love you, Larry/Brandon.

WehoFan
WehoFan
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

You are the only one ever mentioning Trump.

Randy
Randy
1 month ago
Reply to  WehoFan

I’m not the only person on this thread mentioning Trump. And his association with him. I stand by my comment.

Graham
Graham
1 month ago
Reply to  Randy

Your party that has this vision of a perverted utopia is failing. It has nothing to do with Trump.. look at the country that Biden and the Democrats have been leading… It’s tragic, you’re just scared because you aren’t intellectually mature enough to realize everything you’ve believed in is a lie and everyone you’ve voted for has turned their back on you and could care less about you. They are too busy collecting all of their millions from their Merck and Pfizer investments. If you and your parents were in Afghanistan that dementia riddled traitor in the White House would… Read more »

Graham
Graham
1 month ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

That’s right we took a page out of your hateful playbook. MAGA

Joe Bolgna
Joe Bolgna
16 days ago
Reply to  Randy

Let. It. Go.

Last edited 16 days ago by Joe Bolgna
Randy
Randy
16 days ago
Reply to  Joe Bolgna

Maybe. They. Should.

PrincessX
PrincessX
9 hours ago
Reply to  Randy

Fact #1: Public safety is globally synonymous with having a well funded, well trained law enforcement in your city. Fact #2 Democrats decided to die on the BLM hill of Defund and Abolish which is when they lost me and MANY other people who were previously Dems. Fact #3 Trump is indeed a divisive figure who’s harmful rhetoric stoked some violence by racists. Fact #4 The violence by racists is NOT the public safety that is causing issues for the most part for people in cities. It’s theft. It’s carjacking. It’s gang violence. You can try and hold these two… Read more »

Ben Dover
Ben Dover
1 month ago

They are right to leave WeHo. The lunatics, and criminals, have taken over the asylum.

California luv
California luv
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben Dover

I have an idea, pack it up and take your self to Texas. I guarantee you’d be happier. So would we

Graham
Graham
1 month ago
Reply to  California luv

Joe Biden, Hahaha

Last edited 1 month ago by Graham
Graham
Graham
1 month ago
Reply to  California luv

Oooh snazzy response California Luv..Check out his name above, he’s making fun of you because that’s what you do for that traitor Joe Biden and Kamala… BenDover…genius for taking the bait.

Joe Bolgna
Joe Bolgna
16 days ago
Reply to  California luv

I bet he would be happier. But you don’t sound like you’d ever be happy. And that makes us happy. Happy?

David Reid
David Reid
1 month ago

Who appointed this men to the board?

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

The city refuses to publish meaningful descriptions of criminal suspects.” Is that the city’s job? Or the Police/Sheriffs? As for the new Council and Gascon, they were voted in less than a year ago and took office after the first of the year. They must have been awfully busy to destroy the city in such a short time.

Now, I didn’t vote for any of them but clearly a majority did. Instead of whining about it, why don’t you spend your time and energy getting a viable candidate to run against them and unseat them?

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