Nika Soon-Shiong defends her push to defund the Sheriff’s Department

Public Safety Commissioner Nika Soon-Shiong defended her accusations against the LA Sheriff’s Department during her comments Monday night:

I want to thank everyone who spoke today and emphasize that I care very much about safety.

I care very much about the prevention of harm. The LA Sheriff’s Department’s monopoly over public safety is not in service of all of our shared values.

Question: What are metrics of crime prevented by the sheriff’s department in WeHo?

The Contract Law Enforcement Bureau in charge of the department that is overseeing this contract, said, and I quote, There is unfortunately no way to accurately measure.

So the data they will report later on in this meeting reflects just that.

Yet what we hear and what people experience is that crime is rising.

So despite the escalating costs, West Hollywood experiences relatively the same rate in frequency of violence crimes as it did in 2012. There were 320 reported violent crimes in 2012 and 2020, but less crime is being reported.

In fact, the Department of Justice claims that 40% of all crime is reported to law enforcement. Why?

Because folks feel unsafe reporting their crimes to law enforcement.

So to align public safety goals with the contract costs, West Hollywood should reconsider reallocating funds from the sheriff’s department towards existing alternatives.

I want to urge those who care about rising crime and fiscal responsibility should agree with the same with the same point. I also want to emphasize that we are reallocating funds not in

arbitrary amount, but exactly the amount which represents 18% of the sheriff’s department time in West Hollywood that they spend on mental health and homelessness.

It makes more sense to have trained service providers offer their services to do just that.

When I’m specifically told that this is too big of a hurdle or task, I say we already have places to fund the West Hollywood mobile interdisciplinary team services in total is 300

and $76,000 for 2021 fiscal year.

That’s the equivalent of one sheriff’s officer. And I want to request a clear breakdown of homeless services, mental health services being provided, and the cost of each staff.

We heard earlier today in public comment the average department of mental health worker makes $45,000.

Imagine the number of mental health workers we could have in the city with the equivalent of one officer’s time.

I also want to emphasize that the sheriff’s department is a countywide department with 20% of their time spent across cities.

If there is a violent crime and for folks decide to call the sheriff’s department, they will come as we’ve been told that that is a part of their duties roaming the cities.

I also want to emphasize the topic of discussion from last week — the inability of the sheriff’s department to give contracts, cities, agency, and controlling costs, particularly overtime costs.

Finally, after 30 pages of formal memos, 15 pages of correspondence addressed to me from the sheriff, several meetings with officials and consultations with budget experts around the country, we received the information that the average deputy salary is $125,000. The average deputy benefits are $102,000, and each contract city pays $70,000 per deputy overhead.

So to get these figures, these very basic figures for any contract required dozens of hours pouring through budget documents.

The process itself revealed contradictory unclear information directly from the highest paid department in LA County.

So imagine a vendor telling you that prices are increasing. Prices increased in total 18 points, 3% over the past decade, where the cost of a deputy literally increased by a 100% from $167,000 to around $300,000.

That’s what they told me specifically in a letter addressed to me.

The top salaries are 423% higher than the average pay for county employees.

420% higher than the national average for government employees.

Why is it Ok to send inaccurate, incomplete information to the city?

Is it good governance for a city to enter into contract with no control of cost, increases with the vendor, who can unilaterally increase the price with no recourse?

And so I urge the sheriff’s department to increase fiscal transparency to increase the number of their ability to answer very basic questions about unit costs. And I also want to emphasize that we all here in the Public Safety Commission are dedicated to enhancing public safety of this community. Yet, in fact, as I will discuss later, when the sheriff reports their crime data, we are choosing an instrument that is proven not to work, and that the department itself has declared does not work. We have the opportunity right now to set precedent for more investment in what we know works which is community-based mental health and homelessness services.

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Cy Husain
7 months ago

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has been caught overbilling the City of West Hollywood, so they’ve enlisted local media to help push FALSE CRIME narratives blaming nonwhites (mainly African Americans) and, viciously slandering Public Safety Commissioner Nika Soon-Shiong 👩🏽‍💻 for exposing it. In the 80’s and 90’s it was the LASD that joined white supremacists in Gay Bashing in West Hollywood and, now side with the neonazi proud boys & antivaxxers when they come to town to do their harm. YES, our funds would better spent on community-based mental health and homelessness services❗

gregor
gregor
8 months ago

Nika Soon-Shiong, you are my new local hero! Bravo, well spoken, demanding transparency, and don’t let WeHo city finances out of control. Big YES for mental health workers attending to our mentally ill homeless. You go, girl – I hope to see you as a Mayor soon!

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  gregor

She doesn’t care about you. No need to worship her.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
8 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

Yeah, read what she actually said. The Commission took the Sheriff’s figure that a deputy may spend 18% of her/his/their time on homeless issues and then reduced the budget by 18% saying it could be replaced by mental health workers. This assumes that 100% of all issues involving the homeless are merely mental health issues and not criminal issues, which is a rather astounding assumption and naive in the extreme. She is happy to juggle her “facts” to make them support her beliefs.

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  Steve Martin

Yes Steve!

Graham
Graham
8 months ago

She lives in a mansion with 24 hour security and surveillance systems. Her father is the billionaire who owns the propoganda LA Times, which called a respectable black man Larry Elder, “THE BLACK FACE OF WHITE SUPREMECY”.

She and her father are Marxists hiding behind a fraudulent cloak of being marganilized victims, who are really just flat our racists and frauds.

The people of West Hollywood deserve better than this charlatan!

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham

No way in hell can Larry Elder be called “respectable”.

Graham
Graham
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Okay screeching Green eyed gal. Lot more respectable than Biden who called black people “Savages”…

Graham
Graham
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Also please explain what is disrespectful about Larry Elder? Is it his facts?

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham

He has no answer because he doesn’t know anything!

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Racist.

DesertBob
DesertBob
7 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

He’s on the same level as far loony-right ‘influencer” Joe Rogan, whose short career as. “huge microphone media star”(podcasts, really…my cat could host a podcast, FFS.) came to a screeching halt when he admitted, “Hey, I talk shi* for a living.” His QAnutter/tRumpling base shrunk by half by the next week.

You have to figure you’re pretty bad when you get canned by KABC-AM…not once, but twice.

DesertBob
DesertBob
7 months ago
Reply to  Graham

The Times was correct in their assertion. Sorry, Lindsey…er, Graham.

Cracker?

Jess
Jess
8 months ago

Her VERY RICH DADDY is the only reason she has a voice. Los Angeles Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. Defunding is not a smart move

Davedi
Davedi
8 months ago

Ask our woke Princess to throw on her Rolex and walk from Fairfax to LaBrea around 2am. If she makes it ask her again how she feels about less police presence.

weho-west-local
weho-west-local
8 months ago

The relentless astro-turfy comments that come up in literally every crime related thread are an embarrassment to this city. Compensation and spend for all areas of the city should be a publicly available resource. If the sheriff can’t provide clear wage data, I have to think he’s not a competent leader. Basically operational knowledge should be a baseline for someone tasked with public safety.

Joshua88
Joshua88
8 months ago

She should have been pilloried for her *report* and forced to make a public apology. This lack of professionalism and accountability should have been covered by the LAT. Was it?

hifi5000
hifi5000
8 months ago

After reading this article and adjoining comments,I am starting to feel Ms.Soon-Shiong will be running for city council.If Horvath leaves,the seat will be open for any new person.The push against the sheriff is just the beginning of her campaign for city council.

Eli
Eli
8 months ago
Reply to  hifi5000

She has bad optics & bad data…..somebody should be Fact Checking her. The numbers she had from The Sheriff on her last report were laughable, based on his responses — is anyone tracking this stuff???

Kathryn
Kathryn
8 months ago

Got to Go. When she and her family let go of the 20+ private security they have on staff that are on staff 24/7, then maybe we give hear an actual ear. I don’t mind her being from an entitled family, I do mind her taking safety & security away from a community she’s never been a part of —that sets a dangerous precedent in her vision for the future. If you wish to focus on salaries, why don’t you focus on the salaries of the CITY OF WEHO STAFF: as in a town of 38,000 who is paying an… Read more »

08mellie
08mellie
8 months ago

Check out the Fox11 report on the 137% increase of crime in West Hollywood. Mayor Meister spoke about the problem in the segment. These are facts. I don’t care about the LA Times owner’s daughter Nika and her woke position. Not about wealth, all about our safety.

Tom
Tom
8 months ago

I do not understand all of the personal vitriol toward this woman. Her main point is that the Sherriff even admits that they cannot or will not supply us with accurate accounting of where our money goes. The Sherriff himself has decided on his own not to enforce laws that he doesn’t feel like enforcing. If this was coming from the company providing you car insurance, wouldn’t you question it?

Okay, her daddy’s rich. Your’s isn’t. Mine isn’t. Attempt to rise above..

Stevie
Stevie
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

You bitch the Sheriff doesn’t enforce laws he doesn’t feel like enforcing, please what are these laws he doesn’t enforce? Also does it bother you the Counciltwits and District Attorney chooses not to enforce laws also, or are you just an ignorant POS?

Matthew Flanagan
Matthew Flanagan
8 months ago
Reply to  Stevie

I’m with u!

Say What!?
Say What!?
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

You’re making that stuff up.

David
David
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

I agree and have heard the same criticism about enforcement of laws. The costs of law enforcement at this level (the largest county in the country) would logically make it ripe for fiscal abuse.

08mellie
08mellie
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

A REPEAT OF MY POST: Check out the Fox11 report on the 137% increase of crime in West Hollywood. Mayor Meister spoke about the problem in the segment. These are facts. I don’t care about the LA Times owner’s daughter Nika and her woke position. Not about wealth, all about our safety.

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  Tom

No Tom. Refund the police!

Critical Thinking Needed
Critical Thinking Needed
8 months ago

Unfortunately Ms. Soon-Shiong is not a thoughtful or critical thinker. She appears to rely on her family family background, education and connections for credibility.

Mark Patrick Reese
8 months ago

Not thoughtful or critical? Examples please. Oh yeah, Please inform me of these “appearances”. Genius is genetic. She is almost certainly a brilliant person. My interactions with the Sheriff have been disturbing. The staff has no qualms about denying service, ignoring my civil rights, or impairing net worth. If a blackball were not bouncing behind me at every attempt to engage counsel, I would have sued those $#%*! a year ago for brutality, harassment and theft. Nika points out that victims are afraid to report crimes. I can vouch for that thoughtful observation. I will add that I also do… Read more »

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
8 months ago

Can you provide more information about this? In all of my interactions with the Sheriff, they’ve been lovely and accommodating. Have you tried talking to one of the volunteers? Sometimes the deputies are really busy, and they are helpful. I have to admit that the security ambassadors aren’t the best, but they are sometimes overly cautious, can’t blame them though.

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago

Mark you moved to west hollywood a year ago. You don’t know much and sound immature.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

And how long have you lived here?

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Are you the guy who celebrated people being fired over vaccine mandates?

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

Why can’t you just answer my question. How long have you lived here?

WehoFan
WehoFan
8 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Stop calling people who disagree with you racist!

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
8 months ago
Reply to  WehoFan

I’ve asked you to give one example of me calling someone racist and you can’t. You just deflect with more trolling and nonsense.

Why won’t you say how long you’ve lived here? Do you even live in West Hollywood?

Critical Thinking Needed
Critical Thinking Needed
8 months ago

Both Ms. Soon-Shiong and Councilmember Horvath jointly thrust her into spotlight. Given that, she could have been acutely prepared and presented the facts she relied upon in a much more effective manner. Such a hot button issue perhaps she was naive which also does not work.

One never gets a second chance to make a first impression.

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