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.
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.
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.
West Knoll Drive
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.