WeHo paying nearly double for Sheriff’s Department services, Public Safety Commissioner claims

Nika Soon-Shiong, a vocal critic of the Sheriff and advocate for alternative policing, accused the department of charging the City of West Hollywood between 45 and 50 percent above average for providing law enforcement services.  She based her findings on an unpublished budget analysis of unknown provenance which the city is now working to release to the public.

She leveled the jaw-dropping accusations at Monday night’s Public Safety Commission during her commissioner comments:

“Over the past several months, I’ve requested budget documents, cost models, which in typical proceedings would have been rushed through in PDF presentations by the Sheriff’s Department. After several requests and hours of research I’ve shared with the commission today and analysis that’s been conducted in conjunction with a team of budget analysis experts with the caveat that these numbers are subject to change pending additional transparency from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

“The top line is that we are paying as a city between 45 and 50 percent above average LA Sheriff’s Department costs. That means that a sheriff’s deputy/officer, including salary and benefits, is typically $175,000 in West Hollywood. It’s between $300,00 and $318,000. So key questions that emerge from this — 1) Is this from overtime? 2) Is this from the overall costs rising? And 3) Is this normal?l How does it compare to other cities?

“Although overtime at the county level is difficult to track and the Sheriff’s Department claims that contract cities do not incur overtime expenses. First off, a November 21, 2021, letter outlines an average of $12,000 per sheriff’s officer for overtime. So even when overtime and liability are included, we are still incurring a whopping $75,000 unaccounted per officer.

“Is the increase that we are paying — up to 50% per officer — due to cost of ‘everything rising,’ which is what has been responded to me when I asked about the full time employment cost per officer. The average cost per full time officer has doubled in the past 10 years. It has increased by 100%, whereas the consumer price index has increased by 22%.

“And the third question, I think we need to ask ourselves and each other when we see these numbers, is how does this compare to other cities? And so we received a spreadsheet that compared the cost that we pay in conjunction with neighboring cities with independent police departments. 

“And it’s true that West Hollywood pays less per resident, than cities that pay the county sheriff’s office, but these estimates have been overstated. The sheriff’s department has overstated the difference, in particular, inflated the cost of Beverly Hills police department by double counting pensions costs.

“According to the city, West Hollywood is billed for 60 officers, but there are 99 sworn employees.

“And this billing practice means in summary that there are 39.3 full time employees, 65 percent of staff are not accounted for in public documents shared with us. So what is their function? What is their cost?

“And how can we perceive this cost and download it into the overall cost, without transparency into who or what this additional staff time is providing?

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CDS
CDS
2 months ago

Good luck w/that! Thanks for volunteering to be a lab rat to see how that goes!

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
4 months ago

This Sheriff has made it clear he’s not going to work with people who hate him. Good. I support that. Our department is woefully understaffed. Our station is even worse. Our city has turned to absolute commie crap because of our foundation in and inevitable, interminable March to Progress!™️

If you give half a damn about this city and have principles you’ll vote for real, decent human beings and not the SHE-beast and their ilk as they seek to destroy whatever is good, whatever was good, about this modern-day Gomorrah.

Enough Is Enough
Enough Is Enough
4 months ago

This is the kind of corruption and incompetence we have come to expect from the current City Council. Get them OUT. They obviously just cannot do the job competently. This is corruption and incompetence.

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
4 months ago

Explain your statement more.

WeHo Resident
WeHo Resident
4 months ago

Such mean and unnecessary personal attacks on this young lady. It’s savage. Aggressive. Even if she’s wrong on her presumptions and assertions, she doesn’t deserve this word thuggery. If she’s right, it might be safe, no pun, to say she hit a nerve, as evidenced by the hostile and unnecessary insults hurled in this comment board. I’m just saying, be civil. Be decent. Express yourself with class and dignity. If I overheard someone talking about someone as these comments are, I’d think they were hurt and not well, inarticulate and probably low IQ. I digress. Not everything has to be… Read more »

DesertBob
DesertBob
4 months ago

Elect a corrupt sheriff, expect a corrupt department. This isn’t rocket science.

Jess
Jess
4 months ago

WHO at City Hall is in charge of this contract? Seems they may not be doing the job very well. Are there no checks and balances? Does the City just write checks until they run out of money?

Justin
Justin
4 months ago
Reply to  Jess

Strong possibility of a kickback to some folks at City Hall and/or on the City Council.

Late to the party
Late to the party
4 months ago
Reply to  Justin

Justin and Jess, seems like you’ve arrived really late to the party. West Hollywood is paying the same rate as all other contract cities. Price per officer is a global right that includes support services, vehicles, supplies and other staff expenses vs. just the salary paid to each deputy. The analysis was shallow and neither Nika or the analytics team she hired did any research into the published rates. You may not like the Sheriff but argue that based in his actions vs. baseless accusations against the rates paid by West Hollywood.

Bryan Watkins
Bryan Watkins
4 months ago

Well, considering the at WeHo has been considered a safe community I do t have an issue with the current charges. In comparison to other communities that have an unsafe reputation. As far as current trends in safety in the community I would have concerns if cut backs and budgets reductions will affect this trend of safely? The city could always create their own police department and accept the responsibility of safely all on their own. Usually that is not the case because the city will not accept the legal and political responsibility.

Greg Thomas
Greg Thomas
4 months ago

So you are getting 39 Deputies for free and not being billed. Let’s take those 39 away and put them someplace that appreciates them. See how you like getting only what you are contracted to get, watch crime go up. Why does West Hollywood get freebies?

Eric Jon Schmidt (Henderson)
Eric Jon Schmidt (Henderson)
4 months ago

Don’t hate someone because she has new ideas about an old problem. Give her a chance. We finally have a Commissioner who is not going to be passive. She is doing what a Commissioner should do. Being proactive is a new idea in WH, but we desperately need new ideas and new approaches. It’s like refusing a new lifesaver when you’re drowning because you don’t like the color of it.

Facts matter
Facts matter
4 months ago

Actually, much of what she is questioning was addressed in the November council meeting in great detail. She’s posturing without digging into the facts. That’s not proactive or helpful. It’s self serving drama that you seem to appreciate. Maybe she can help you with your book?

Tom
Tom
4 months ago

Give her a chance? We have a CRIME WAVE. We are not a training ground, are you kidding? Lindsay put her in place for her own self interest. How many police does it take to answer to a call or serious crime. If there are multiple crimes at once there could be at least over 20 taken off the beat at once. Now what? Do the math

Mike D
Mike D
4 months ago

Give her a chance no

Danielle Harris
Danielle Harris
4 months ago

Supervisor candidate and Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, can you answer these questions for us? If accurate, this has been happening on your watch for years. Where have you been?

Oh, wait a minute, observing then private citizen Erickson illegally painting crosswalks. You’re both corrupt.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
4 months ago

Good point, Danielle! Good luck getting an answer.

BTW, WEHOville, I think you meant provenance where you used providence. Regardless, the source of the information and its contents should absolutely be a part of the proceeding and made public otherwise the questions are merely conjecture and performative bullpucky. Public policy and politics are not performance arts and we should not tolerate the grandstanding.

WEHO ville
Editor
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

🤦 Whoops! Sorry about that, great catch! BTW the city has yet to release it after repeated requests all week.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
4 months ago

This clueless dingbat……should go get a real job. We have enough nonsense in the city already.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Do you know how to use an ellipsis correctly?

Andrew
Andrew
4 months ago

This clueless 20-something billionaire princess, who previously worked for the president of the World Bank, and is no doubt surrounded by a phalanx of retired special forces 24/7 as her personal security detachment, clearly has Tracy Flick political aspirations. Accordingly, she has devised a scheme whereby she will build the foundation of what would no doubt be a long and destructive political career by attacking the Sheriff deputies that patrol our neighborhood in the midst of a violent crime wave in order to establish a facade of credentials as a social justice crusader. No doubt daddy big bucks paid a… Read more »

gdaddy
gdaddy
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Feeling the same. Billionaire’s daughter likely has her own private IPS detail like folks in Beverly Hills. Doesn’t have to worry about anything. That said, our sheriff does need to stop wasting money on their helicopter support. I’d get rid of that thing, buzzing around incessantly for minor/dumb calls. I’ll never forget them sending the helicopter to Pump after reports of a homeless man trying to use garden shears to break the chain lock outside.

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