With the perception of rising crime in West Hollywood continuing to spread among its residents, City Council will decide tonight whether to increase security presence over the holidays and beyond.
Item 5d on tonight’s agenda, initiated by Mayor Lauren Meister, would add 50 hours’ of overtime to the Block by Block ambassadors’ schedule from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3.
The measure would also reinstate the Entertainment Policing Team sergeant and deputy positions that were slashed last year due to COVID budget reductions. The cost of the two positions is $600,000 per year, and it could take 30 days or longer to staff them.
Comments submitted via correspondence by WeHo residents illustrate the general public’s growing unease about safety and security in the city:
As a current resident in West Hollywood and a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, I have never been more worried or frightened to live where I do. I am urging you to vote yes on the measure to increase security in West Hollywood. It is upsetting to see the direction this city is going in and I am sincerely hoping that you agree and are working on doing something about this. — Chantal Hakim
I support item 5.B and support increasing block by block ambassadors. I also think an added level of security needs to be implemented, perhaps a temporary partnership with the California Army National Guard. What is happening in Weho is alarming but not random. Gangs are targeting particular areas of Los Angeles on purpose, it is part of their “business model” at this point, and they won’t stop unless there are drastic measures taken. Adding a little bit of police force or some security ambassadors won’t solve the problem we have right now. — Dom Ianni
I’ve been a resident of West Hollywood since 1989 and I’ve always felt safe walking my dog at night. These days I don’t feel safe walking in the neighborhood at any time of day. All of West Hollywood is dirty and crime-ridden. I don’t know who is responsible for letting this city deteriorate, but let’s start with more police on the ground and then we can address all of the boarded-up shops with “For Rent” signs in the windows. There’s trash on the ground everywhere, homeless encampments, every other shop is a Marijuana dispensary (how boring!) … I am no longer proud to say that I live in West Hollywood, I’m embarrassed. — Nanci M. Walker
I support having more security in West Hollywood. I’m scared to walk my dog at night, I live across from city all and we have so many homeless people sleeping on our front doors and breaking into the bungalow apartments. My building is more secure and thieves STILL get in. They steal things in our cars in the garage and even have been found walking our halls seeing who’s doors are unlocked. West Hollywood should not be allowing this any more. We need more security. — Kiara McCarthy