PUBLIC COMMENT: Increase or decrease the Sheriff’s budget?

A sampling of WeHo residents’ letters to the Public Safety Commission ahead of their meeting this week.

Writing in to support the Public safety commission’s recommendation that the city reduces the Police budget.
Please do NOT increase the budget for the WeHo Sheriff’s department. The weho sheriff’s dept has been holding the city hostage in their demands for more money while they refuse to do the job and protect the public in the first case. We should be exploring alternatives to the LASD instead of throwing more money at deputies who refuse to even answer to city officials and who aren’t being held accountable to our residents. Recent, blatantly racist, panic from residents concerning isolated incidents make it seem as if the city is out of control and dangerous somehow because there are not enough police around. That is factually false and most of us feel less safe with the LASD running around with little to no oversight. I say this as a community leader, VP of a large HOA with hundreds of homeowners, as well as someone who has been ROUTINELY stopped, harassed and even assaulted by the LASD, in my own city. Do not throw more money at them. We need to re-work public safety into something that actually benefits the public.
Jake Mason (he/his)



Dear West Hollywood City Council,
I strongly urge to REJECT a proposed reduction of public safety partners (sheriff’s sworn personnel) as this is absolutely the opposite of what our community needs in this time of skyrocketing crime that negatively impacts the safety of West Hollywood residents and visitors. The mere thought of supporting ANY reduction in sheriff’s sworn personnel at this time is counterproductive and counter-common sense. If anything, there should be a proposal to INCREASE number of public safety partners in West Hollywood to help turn the tide on the harmful chaos in our streets that often affects our homes as well with increased frequency of break-ins and vandalism.
As a West Hollywood resident of more than 10 years, I ask that every member of the city council take my input to heart and do what it right for better outcomes … not doubling down on policies that invite more crime and increased danger in our city.
Thank you,
Michael Smith
Larrabee Street resident



Dear Honorable Councilors: I live at 7624 Norton Ave. I do not think West Hollywood is over-policed. I appreciate the levels of safety patrol and of the Sherriff. If any adjustments to the Sherriff should be made, it should be to get them more specialized training: dealing with homeless & mentally ill; best practices in traffic stops snd nuisance abatement, etc. Also, I agree any increases in staffing should be in officer support, outreach, social services, and safety patro. Nonetheless, I think it would be a mistake to reduce our number of sworn officers. Instead, I believe that keeping current levels of sworn officers while augmenting other programs is the way to go.
Thank you.
Sincerely, Larry
Lawrence J. Goldblum



Regarding item 4A:
I watched the most recent Public Safety Commission meeting and was very disappointed in what I saw. Commissioner Nika Soon-Shiong made an outrageous allegation about the City of West Hollywood being overcharged for Sheriff Department services. She then made a motion suggesting cutting 10 deputies from the budget.
As a West Hollywood resident, I want more Sheriff Deputies on the street rather than less. Given how the LA County District Attorney is only accepting a fraction of cases that are presented to him, we have a situation where real criminals rarely are held to account for their crimes.
Most importantly please do not cut the Sheriff’s Department budget. Secondly, Public Safety Commissioner Nika Soon-Shiong’s hostility towards law enforcement calls into question if she’s the right person for this commission.
Richard Best
West Knoll Drive
West Hollywood


Hello,
I’m reaching out in regards to Tuesday’s Council meeting -item 4.A. Five households, including mine, who reside in the Domain complex would like to voice our stand with increasing public safety and restoring the number of sheriff’s sworn personnel. Although our apartment complex is secured and the management has assigned full time security, we continue to receive multiple theft reports per week in our complex. Not to mention, the extreme rise in public safety reports in our neighborhood. The luxury of WeHo should be matched with public safety and the safety of its residence. We appreciate all of your hard work
Thank you, Adam


Gentlemen and Ladies:
I understand that there is a proposal to reduce the budget for the presence of the LA County Sheriff in West
Hollywood … to “defund” the police. I am very much against that proposal and I urge the Council for vote against it. It is not in the interests of the vast majority of the population of West Hollywood and, in fact, is, without a doubt, detrimental. The Sheriffs presence in West Hollywood is appreciated and probably, if anything, underfunded. Please note my voice as such.
Thank you
Dan Barbakow


With so much violent crime in our faces in the Norma Triangle and W. Hollywood, we need all the brave Sheriffs we can have on the force. Do NOT let officers go. I’ve lived at 818 N. Doheny for 30 years …. We need these police more than ever. What are you thinking? Madness.
Carole lta White


Dear Council Members,
I have been a West Hollywood resident and homeowner for over a decade. I have always loved West Hollywood for the amazing community it has been. However, I am concerned that this City is going in the wrong direction by ignoring the most pressing issue currently plaguing us: public safety. I believe the amount you have budgeted for law enforcement may be insufficient to address the troubling increase in crime in and near our borders. We as voters and residents of West Hollywood need you to address the alarming increase in crime within and near our city by allocating more resources to our public safety partners. Yet, it has come to my attention that at their last meeting, most members of the Public Safety Commission voted to recommend a decrease in the number of sworn peace officers protecting our city. That is incredibly tone deaf and irresponsible. It should come as no surprise to anyone on the Council that public safety, or lack thereof, has become a major concern to many, if not most, of us who live or work here. Crime, especially violent crime, is the highest it’s been in over 15 years in LA county, and what’s happening in and near our borders in West Hollywood is absolutely unacceptable. Our residents and tourists are getting robbed at gunpoint by violent criminals, some of whom are operating as part of criminal street gangs, who drive into our community for no other reason than to prey on innocent victims. People have been followed home and robbed after a night out, or they have been robbed while walking their dog, sometimes having been targeted because robbers wanted their dog. Two young girls recently were robbed on their way to school on Melrose near West Hollywood, two young women were recently victims of attempted rapes committed by a transient in broad daylight within our city, and two young British tourists were robbed at gunpoint within steps of the West Hollywood border. These are just the incidents highlighted in the media. On top of these high.profile incidents, people have also been assaulted, robbed, or otherwise victimized without any media fanfare. Let’s not forget that many people don’t even report everything that happens or every suspicious person they see. I believe I came uncomfortably close to getting robbed in broad daylight while running an errand on foot a few months ago in our city, but I hurried away from the creep who suspiciously slowed his car down to a near complete stop in the middle of the street while silently staring at the packages in my hand out of his open window. When I turned and looked at him, he continued staring. His behavior and facial expression were abnormal and jarring. He then tried to do a U-turn in my direction while continuously staring at my packages but couldn’t because he was on a narrow street and another car came up behind him. He then sped away and went out of sight. I did not report the incident. I’ve spoken to others who have had similar unsettling experiences in our city. People can no longer work, live, or play within West Hollywood without a legitimate fear of crime. And yet two of my friends and neighbors recently told me that when they contacted the city regarding their experiences, they were told by some staffers that there is no increase in crime. This is unacceptable. The reasonable response to an increase in crime is acknowledging that there is a problem. The next logical response is to effectively address that problem. To that end, we need an increase in Sheriffs deputies patrolling our neighborhoods not only with their vehicles but also on foot and on bicycles. There is no better deterrent to crime than police presence and a fast response time when people call for help. That means that if our law enforcement partners need more resources, we need to help them get those resources so that they can actually protect us. Most of us pay a lot in taxes, including property taxes, for the privilege of living in this city, and we cannot thrive as a healthy community if we cannot be safe in our own neighborhoods. I respectfully ask that you adequately fund an increase in the number of deputies on our streets and effectively address our city’s growing crime problem before more people are victimized.
Sincerely,
Tamar Tokat


Dear Mayor and City Councilmembers,
Crime is on the rise! West Hollywood residents do not feel safe!
I have seen with my own eyes crime take place this past year which I had never had to experience before. I even had people bang on my garage door trying to break into my home which had never happened before.
Do not cut the number of WeHo sheriff’s department by 10 people which is recommended by the Safey Commission (whiich is so bizarre that a “Safety” Commission would even consider making our city less safe).
As elected leaders who are voted in to protect the residents, please do NOT support a
16.7% reduction of sheriff deputies (or any reduction at all). It makes no logical sense to endanger your own constituents.
Sincerely,
Michael Fisk



Dear Council,
Commission has recommended that our city reduce the number of Sheriffs Deputies by over 16%! Are they serious?!
The council spent $85,000 to repaint a flag on the street and another $170,000 for the Robertson Lane closure disaster. God forbid City Hall should find the money to hire more officers to maybe help with the rise in crime.
I’ve been a resident of this city for over 40 years. I have NEVER been afraid to walk our city streets until the last few years .. Residents email me all the time concerned about crime. The fact that our own Safety Commission would ask you to consider cutting the Sheriff’s Department budget is insane.
Bobbie Edrick



Dear Mayor and City Councilmembers,
I am extremely disappointed and somewhat dumbfounded that our own Public Safety Commission would recommend that the City reduce the number of sheriff’s deputies by 10 (a 16. 7% reduction). Really, what are they thinking?!
My neighbors on the Norma Triangle Neighborhood Watch, Bobbie Edrick and Jim Banks, have received more emails in the last year from fellow residents of the Norma Triangle concerned with crime and safety than at any other time. We are ALL greatly concerned with the increase in crime in our city and often detail to us their encounters with being assaulted, property crime, theft, etc.
If anything, my neighbors are asking for MORE sheriff’s depiuties as people are afraid for their safety. And we’ve already seen some cities that advocated for less policing reverse course in light of rising crime.
Residents are not asking for this!
My neighbors ask you to remember that your number one priority as elected leaders of our city is to protect its citizens and visitors. Voting in favor of reducing the number of sheriff deputies (especially during a period of a rise in crime) would not be acting to protect the people.
For the safety of our city, and on behalf of the residents of the Norma Triangle, we ask that you reject this recommendation. Please do not fail us.
Regards, Jeffrey Cohen



Hello,
Per item 4A, I don’t think the City’s Public Safety Commision recommendation of a 16.7% reduction of LASO sworn personnel is enough of a reduction.
Brendan Grafe 1222 N Olive Dr
I recently heard about proposed cuts to the West Hollywood police force, and cannot emphasize enough how against this misguided move I am. Crime is escalating dramatically, and the citizens of this town feel powerless to do anything about it. The fact that this is even being proposed is pure insanity. We should be dramatically increasing the size of the police force, not decreasing it.
I can’t think if anything crueler than to allow the violence to continue unabated.
Please reconsider this ill-advised move.
Mark Cregar
Resident of West Hollywood


To whom it may concern,
I am utterly shocked that a reduction in the number of local sheriffs is being considered. Crime has exploded in our area due, in no small part, to the soft on crime policies of Los Angeles County. Now it appears that West Hollywood wants to make the situation even worse.
On any night of the week, due to the active nightlife offerings on Santa Monica Blvd., our city entertains thousands of invitees into the community. They are followed into our community by criminals who pray upon them, and the residents of this city. I fall asleep each night to the constant blaring of sirens as law-enforcement attempts to maintain the peace.
I was personally present at Hugos restaurant when a burglary occurred across the street from the patio while we all sat there eating our lunches. Evening and daytime burglaries are now a fact of life in our city, and often times the victims are single females who have been cased because they live alone.
Any reduction in law enforcement in the city of West Hollywood would be reckless. We need more law enforcement, not less. Many members of our community are on Citizen and the sheriffs department notification list so we are well aware of the extreme increase in crime in our city. Please do not make it worse by putting ideological politics over the safety of our community.
Sincerely,
JACALYN DAVIS


I oppose the proposed reduction in public safety staff, sheriff. The current trend towards greater crime in West Hollywood is a recent trend as we emerge from the devastating pandemic. Businesses have lost volume, property has been damaged, and the need for not only enforcement but active deterrent by police presence is essential.
The county and city need to support non lethal social welfare supports in addition, not at the expense of police force reduction. The mental health needs are only growing and not well funded. Now is not the time to take away from policing, but to add support via stronger mental health supports.
Failure to support maintenance of the current level should be seen as a direct contradiction of the community needs and clear stated support. A removal from office should be considered for any elected council member supporting policing reductions.
Thank you
Louis Koff

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Stevie
Stevie
8 months ago

Who’s going to protect the mental health professionals as they’re getting their asses kicked by a drugged out wacko? Not the sheriff, there won’t be any left.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
8 months ago
Reply to  Stevie

they didn’t think about that. are really anything else obvious.

Garbage In Garbage Out
Garbage In Garbage Out
8 months ago

In many cases we are witnessing the result of wishful thinking. Commissioners on several commissions wishing and hoping they could implement strategic policy but lack the tools and Council Members with similar deficits. Critical thinking starts at the top whether it is original thought or recognizing thoughtful solutions in the ranks.

Old saying: Garbage In & Garbage Out.🙄🙄

voter
voter
8 months ago

Does anyone over the age of 25 think we should reduce the police in West Hollywood? The young and inexperienced folks have bought into the current progressive woke think. They’ll grow up eventually, but we need to stop them from harming everyone else in the process.

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  voter

Correct.

Bnl
Bnl
8 months ago
Reply to  voter

Lmfao what??????

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  Bnl

What part did you not understand?

Mike
Mike
8 months ago

Moving business not on the PSC agenda during a Commissioner comment period manifested itself in the manufacture of the concept and viewpoint of the privileged notion. Although this may sound like something from Roberts Rules of Order, it is not. It was seconded and voted on though, I guess. And with most such motions and notions, it was out of order in the forum where it took place. Why would privileged people who have more to loose want fewer police? Compare that with this: People who have less want to hang on to what they’ve got. Swapping out ten sherif for Mental Health Technicians… Read more »

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
8 months ago

The city council voted for an $85K painted crosswalk……instead of a police officer. What is wrong with these people??????

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

This isn’t an either/or situation. The crosswalk and “police officer” were not pitted against each other.

Can you do a quick google search on how to use an ellipsis?

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Using 85K of taxpayer money……on a crosswalk….while in the midst of a crime wave……is a choice.
The wrong one. Yes…they ARE pitted against each other.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Well, good thing………you don’t even live…… here.

JF1
JF1
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

It’s about a spending tax paper money wisely. Painting the street colors is a waste of our money. Making sure we maintain the same number of sheriff deputies (or adding more) is a smart use of tax paper money. Get it?

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  JF1

Many residents enjoy the crosswalks and think they send a powerful message. I’m sorry that you, “Ham”, “Wehofan”, and the other insufferable commenters on have a problem with them. You’ll get over it.

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

The thread is about police funding. Stop deflecting.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

Are you lost? Look up the original comment.

Weho Resident
Weho Resident
8 months ago
Reply to  JF1

The City has more than enough money to pay for the painted crosswalks and an increase in law enforcement. The two are not mutually exclusive. People in this City like rainbow crosswalks. It’s one of the many unique things about West Hollywood. Not increasing public safety resources isn’t about the money. Some of the anti-police ideologues on the City Council don’t believe law enforcement is necessary. They are wrong about that. But it was never a choice between crosswalks or police. We can afford both and should pay for both.

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

You’re getting crushed in this thread!

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

Oh no the MAGA clan is here!

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

It takes you 3 seconds to start calling people racist. You offer nothing.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

Where have I called anyone racist? Give an example.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Since you’re the self-appointed expert in everything, care to explain how City budgets work? Are these two different budgets from two different sources? Please clarify. Not everyone has to like the crosswalk, either. Some of us like the flag, but think it looks junky and juvenile as a crosswalk.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

Are these two different budgets from two different sources?”

I have no idea what you’re even asking. Please clarify.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

If you are competent enough to make proclamations on either/or budget situations, then you should know what I’m asking. It seems like you don’t have any experience in this area.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

There was no either/or budget situation. That is the point.

Since you’re the self-appointed expert in everything”

When did I self-appoint myself exactly?

JF1
JF1
8 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

A lot.

Incompetence?
Incompetence?
8 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Reviewing the resumes of the Public Safety Commissioners reveals their PC status as top on their list of accomplishments. Add to that a lack of critical thinking and the result is incompetence. Avoidable or a feel good appointment?

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  Incompetence?

“Reveals their PC status”

What does this even mean? Please elaborate.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Did you just come out of hibernation????

L. Helmsley
L. Helmsley
8 months ago

Increase the sheriff’s budget and increase sheriff staffing.
Our property was burglarized on Christmas Eve. We were thankful for the sheriff’s prompt and decisive response.
Reducing funding or staff is a really bad idea and dangerous.

voter
voter
8 months ago

Reduce the overpaid staff at West Hollywood City Hall and hire more police to protect us.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
8 months ago
Reply to  voter

bingo

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Agreed

JF1
JF1
8 months ago
Reply to  voter

👍🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley
8 months ago

Why are we even giving the opportunity to this Nika person who doesn’t even live in West Hollywood. I expect her billionaire father and owner of the LA Times wants her to become a famous politician, but please expose her for what she is, an unelected trust fund baby. Safety first, and please listen to those of us who live here and not someone who doesn’t.

EastWeho
EastWeho
8 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buckley

Personally I find it appalling that anyone in our city council can actually have their position without living here or owning a business. Instead their job seems to be used as a springboard for their career elsewhere with no consequence to their personal, local living conditions. They have no skin in the game by trying out their experimental plans that are clearly failing residents.

carleton cronin
8 months ago

No city hall has ever had all the answers, of course, and that’s why citizens must continue to press our elected to understand reality and not dream up outlandish thoughts such as “defunding the police”. We need more community involvement such as an Improved WATCH program which would interact with the sheriff far more than any hired security company could. And, we should also have a city-sponsired CERT program to further involve residents, to help build, along with WATCH, a much more viable community interested in increased safety on many levels. We once enjoyed such…

Joshua88
Joshua88
8 months ago

Look for/to the root of crime, not increasing the police budget. It is like increasing the defense budget, when so many other ills, issues, programs, and agencies are underfunded or ignored.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
8 months ago
Reply to  Joshua88

I don’t completely disagree, but addressing these other issues could take decades. Why not do both?

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
8 months ago
Reply to  WeHo Mary!

Agreed; having mental health experts working with homeless people having a meltdown is a pro-active idea but does not have to come at the expense of deputies. Adding mental health care teams does not necessarily reduce our need for patrolling deputies. The proposed cuts do not make West Hollywood any safer.

JF1
JF1
8 months ago

It’s not rocket science… When our “leaders“ publicly announce that they want to “defund“ the police bad people will do more bad things. Crime is on the rise. It is absolutely idiotic to consider cutting the number of sheriffs deputies. Our sympathies and our attention should be focused on law abiding citizens and we should not be soft on those that make our lives miserable by committing crimes against us. This public safety commission needs to wake up and realize that they’re supposed to be supporting public safety measures and reducing the number of sheriffs deputies is just plain stupid.

voter
voter
8 months ago
Reply to  JF1

The commission members who voted to fire the police officers should be removed from office–immediately. The are not worthy of serving on a public safety commission and need to be held accountable for trying to hurt so many people. I tried to understand their reasoning, but concluded that they are just stupid.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
8 months ago

Increase the police budget……or be voted out.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Can you even vote here? You don’t live in West Hollywood.

JF1
JF1
8 months ago
Reply to  Ham Shipey

Increase the police budget AND ..VOTE. THEM. OUT!

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