Kiosk ‘won’t do sh*t’ to solve WeHo’s greater security issues, says Public Safety Commissioner

The Public Safety Commission wrestled with several fundamental security issues facing WeHo on Monday night, attempting to address them with urgency while grappling with their sheer scope.

The debate began during public comment, when Bill Karpiak spoke up to ask for a security kiosk at the Ramada Plaza.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in crime and homeless in our location and along Santa Monica Boulevard, and I know you’re very familiar with how it is affecting residents, visitors and local businesses,” he said. “People living on the street can be very aggressive these days and I’ve received numerous complaints from our tenants from some of our hotel customers as well as retail guests as well.”

He was deeply concerned about how the situation is affecting international travelers, whose No. 1 concern is security, he said, and who contribute 50 percent of the revenue generated by West Hollywood hotels.“It’s just our hope that we can provide the safest destination possible.”

The commissioners agreed that a demonstrable increase in crime warranted the establishment of a kiosk on the city’s West Side — but other parts of town were in need of them, too. The debate splintered on where it was needed most urgently.

“I’m not saying that we don’t need (a kiosk) by the Ramada,” said Commissioner Tod Hallman, but “it should start emphatically on the east side.”

“I’m not discounting the need on the East Side,” said Commissioner Robert Oliver, “but I do think that we need to look at numbers. When you look at the numbers, the majority of the assaults run the west side of town. The robberies, the burglaries, the one rape in the city — it was on the west side of town. All of the majority of the crimes happening in the city are happening on the west side of town.”

Commissioner Danny Roman was unconvinced the kiosks would do any good.

“When the vagrant starts going crazy — what do we do? We run to the kiosk and say, ‘Hey Block by Block, go get them!’ And then what is that person going to do? Because the bigger problem here is you can’t do anything to them. It doesn’t matter if Block By Block lock is there, it doesn’t matter if the President is there, it doesn’t matter if there’s seven cops there. There’s a much deeper issue here.”

“I mean, we were burglarized on Monday morning,” he said. “Somebody broke through the front end and stole $10,000 worth of bikes. The cops come, they fill out a report, and everybody goes back to work. I send crazy emails to Council, and no one even responds. And we just keep going.”

“Putting the kiosk at Ramada — It’s not going to do shit.”

The commissioners agreed that the problem was greater than whether or where to place a kiosk. Greater presence by law enforcement and Block by Block ambassadors was needed overall.

“Unfortunately, I hate to say it, but we have to do it all,” said Commissioner Nika Soon-Shiang. “And I think that we need to put together a response that addresses what people have come to expect from this commission and asked us for.”

The commission approved a motion to call a special meeting to continue the discussion.

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Wembroke
Wembroke
9 days ago

A kiosk is window dressing. I agree with those who think the Sheriff’s should be walking the beat, and biking around our City. All they do now is drive around, not interacting with the community and getting to know locals and business owners. They also are notoriously anti-bike. I can’t tell you the number of times a police car has parked right in the bike lane making me have to veer into dangerous traffic. I even had one of them yell at me to get out of their ay because they wanted to drive into the bike lane where I… Read more »

Frank
Frank
9 days ago

I carry a knife now whenever I go out – grocery, restaurants, bars – and intend to use it on any criminally insane homeless attacker that fux with me instead of wasting my time with a nonsense kiosk that alerts the police to come and do absolutely nothing. Take matters into your own hands if you can.

DesertBob
DesertBob
10 days ago

Zoomers think that you can get ANYTHING from a “kiosk.” Even protection from crime!

WeHo will collapse in a heap in the next 10 years. People just aren’t having it anymore.

kab1200
kab1200
9 days ago
Reply to  DesertBob

Go away, you moved to the desert, so deal with the issues out there. Your doom and gloom is really tired. Weho will not collapse, that is absurd.

Susan Pinkus
Susan Pinkus
10 days ago

We need sheriffs walking the beat. We don’t need kiosks. I was raised in NY and we always saw officers walking the neighborhood. They knew the community and they were able to answer any issues immediately. The sheriffs in WH are not even visible. Never see them.

Danny
Danny
10 days ago
Reply to  Susan Pinkus

I agree. We’ve been asking for sheriffs to walk the bear for 8 years now. And they won’t and there’s is no over site. They do what they want, when they want.

DesertBob
DesertBob
10 days ago
Reply to  Susan Pinkus

That was Bill Bratton’s community policing initiative. Worked on NYC, didn’t work for him in LA. Onr city is vertical, one is horizontal. WeHo’s small enough to where it may well work. It’ll also kill the nightlife, which us why the Ramada’s even there.

Keith
Keith
10 days ago
Reply to  Susan Pinkus

You never see cops in West Hollywood unless they’re starting a shift or finishing. Where are they hiding? It’s so unsafe here now. The homeless are ruining Weho. When they do show up they say what do you want me to do? Do something. Do your job and get rid of the attitude.

Simplicity of Action
Simplicity of Action
9 days ago
Reply to  Susan Pinkus

The recent interviews, with all respect to the neatly pressed and personable deputies stating their corporate protocol, seem to lack the will of engagement to simply walk the community. Ear, Eyes & Feet, which were Bratton’s strategy which may well work in Weho. Getting too caught up in these other long range strategies, while they make work to some extent, do not give evidence to the residents that the deputies are present, aware, alert and ready to take action. This was originally the task of the COPPS team which seems to now be buried under boilerplate. The residents in Weho… Read more »

Joey Bologna
Joey Bologna
12 days ago

Not sure a kiosk is the answer.

Last edited 12 days ago by Joey Bologna
Steve Martin
Steve Martin
12 days ago

There is an item on Monday’s City Council agenda on the kiosk issue but Council member Erickson is also promising more law enforcement presence at La Brea and Santa Monica, which is appreciated. The City just needs to deploy Sheriff’s foot or bike patrols at that intersection as the uniformed presence will have a positive impact. I just think the kiosk is a gimmick and a waste of tax payer dollars. But send in a public comment for Monday’s Council meeting if you want to be heard.

Simplicity of Action
Simplicity of Action
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Gimmicks, diversion, kiosks, block by block, study groups, long range plans………..

The now is NOW for action and results.

Jamie Francis
Jamie Francis
12 days ago

A month ago, a transient man stood on on the sidewalk when I was walking eastbound on Sunset Blvd and attempted to block my path but more alarmingly, he then attempted to punch me in the face. I was stunned and shocked! I tried to call sherrifs who didn’t see it as an emergency because I Evaded being punched. I asked on the phone the dispatch deputy what if someone who was a transient attempted to punch deputies but didn’t make contact they would still be arrested for attempted assault on an officer! I called twice insisting he would get… Read more »

Last edited 12 days ago by Jamie Francis
Stripe & Yellow
Stripe & Yellow
12 days ago
Reply to  Jamie Francis

In the mean while, you might consider avoiding trouble and problematic people. Put up your own antennae and walk across the street. Getting into fisticuffs with the Sheriff because of disagreements over their protocol is useless. Crying wolf repeatedly will get you nowhere. Take personal responsibility. Wehoville is not the Complaint Department. If you have a positive, constructive solution to offer take it directly to the person that can implement it. Best of luck.

Keith
Keith
10 days ago

That was dumb.

Stripe & Yellow
Stripe & Yellow
9 days ago
Reply to  Keith

Avoiding trouble is smart not dumb.

Keith
Keith
10 days ago
Reply to  Jamie Francis

Fire every one of them and start over. Worthless!

Smile! You're On Camera
Smile! You're On Camera
13 days ago

I rather see the city spend public safety funds on a security cameras like the ones in Beverly Hills instead of useless ambassadors to sit behind a kiosk.

WEHO Resident
WEHO Resident
12 days ago

smile you’re on camera … Beverly Hills doesn’t mess around

00279B38-C1C8-4747-AB39-9FED61874890.jpeg
Stevie
Stevie
12 days ago

Liberal city wanting Big Brother around,? Yea, um no way. Besides one of the Council members (current or former) might be caught on their knees somewhere.

JF1
JF1
11 days ago
Reply to  Stevie

Law abiding citizens should have nothing to fear with having eyes on the street. You’re in public and whether it’s somebody standing next to you watching you or the police watching from a camera it’s no different. The only difference is that when a crime is committed there is evidence and that evidence might lead to the conviction of the person that committed a crime. This would intern hopefully deter other people from committing more crimes. It’s a deterrent to people that might want to do something bad knowing that someone is always watching. Kind of like children. Beverly Hills… Read more »

Stevie
Stevie
11 days ago
Reply to  JF1

I agree, no reason not to have cameras in today’s environment considering if a city’s camera won’t get you someone’s cell phone will.

DesertBob
DesertBob
10 days ago
Reply to  Stevie

Nutball.

Keith
Keith
10 days ago
Reply to  Stevie

Ignorant

Bill G Skywatcher
Bill G Skywatcher
13 days ago

My one foray out onto Santa Monica Blvd dining on the sidewalk resulted in not one but two incidents with homeless people. Fortunately, neither I not my friend were the target, but it was still annoying, and to be frank, not particularly appetizing, either. It’s obviously worse now that so much activity on the strip is outdoors on the sidewalks where they typically travel. There have always been homeless people on SMB but now that people are using the sidewalks more there are more opportunities for contact. More to the point, what the frig is a “public safety kiosk?” A… Read more »

C90069
C90069
13 days ago

You can find the security ambassadors every night having a grand ol time just chatting and laughing away their shift for hours with the evening staff at Sunset Strip Liqour instead of, ya know… Patrolling…

WEHO Resident
WEHO Resident
12 days ago
Reply to  C90069

Kristin Cook and David Wilson needs to put an end to Block By Block. This photo of an ambassador drinking is unacceptable.

3DA3734D-D3B9-42C0-B0C8-E693276DB1CC.jpeg
Keith
Keith
10 days ago
Reply to  WEHO Resident

Oops 🤭

Keep WEHO Safe
Keep WEHO Safe
14 days ago

What a waste of Public Safety resources. I was at Starbucks this morning and witnessed an ambassadors and Starbucks employee groping each other.

3A9DA963-4826-4610-B492-04193F42019E.jpeg
michaelz
michaelz
14 days ago

what does beverly hills do about the homeless problem???

:dpb
:dpb
14 days ago
Reply to  michaelz

The BH police drop off the homeless on the West Hollywood side of Doheny. This is not fiction. I live right there and have witnessed this many many times over the last 15 years.

Last edited 14 days ago by :dpb
Robin
Robin
13 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

True. Me too. I’ve seen it

This is not Manhattan
This is not Manhattan
13 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

The secret Escort Service?

WeHo resident
WeHo resident
13 days ago
Reply to  :dpb

Seems like a lot of work on their part. No wonder they have to overcharge us for water service on the West side. (eye roll)

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