Mayor Pro Tem did request more Block by Block presence at city events and meetings
The City of West Hollywood is updating a report that Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne was issued a security detail of Sheriff’s deputies after receiving threats on social media for voting to defund the departments’ budget for 2022 and 2023.
The report was the topic of Wednesday’s episode of John and Ken on KFI-AM 640, which featured Capt. Bill Moulder of the WeHo Sheriff’s Station as guest on the show. Moulder declined to offer comment on this article, citing the ongoing investigation.
According to Public Information Officer Sherri A. Lunn: “City Manager David Wilson initiated individual conversations with some City Councilmembers, including Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne, to assess whether there was a need for additional security following a rise in threats received by Councilmembers and by City staff. Mayor Pro Tem Shyne, in her conversation with City Manager Wilson, requested Block by Block security ambassadors. This was not a request for a private security detail nor for overtime for Sheriff’s Deputies. It was a request for additional security at City events and meetings.”
She referred WEHOville to Wilson’s comments on community safety in relation to threats:
“It is the City of West Hollywood’s standard protocol for the City Manager, Community Safety Director, and West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station Captain to discuss, assess, and respond to a rise in threats as they may relate to the safety of members of the City Council, to City Officials such as Advisory Board Members and Commissioners, to staff, and to the public at large. While there was consideration of additional security to be provided by LASD Deputies, this consideration was never enacted. Instead, under my direction, the City’s Community Safety Department moved forward in addressing additional security needs by assigning Block by Block security ambassadors for City public meetings and events, wherein Councilmembers, City Officials, staff, and members of the public may be in attendance.”
The city also disputes whether Council’s vote on June 27 constituted “a re-allocation of millions of dollars from the Sheriff’s budget.”
“The motion from the June 27 City Council meeting reflects a reduction in the number of LASD Deputies and the contract reflects an approved cost of living adjustment. There is no defunding in the City budget in this fiscal year; there is a net decrease of one Deputy in approximately late September 2022. Then, in approximately March/April 2023, the City Council will deliberate a potential decrease by three Deputies. The motion also increases Block by Block (BBB) security ambassadors by 30 positions to perform foot patrols in residential neighborhoods and staff will return to the City Council with an item on August 1 for an updated agreement for services, which overall, represents an expansion of community safety personnel,” Lunn wrote.
Listen to the John & Ken Show and decide for yourself.
Originally published as follows
After leading the charge to defund the sheriff last month, Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne then asked the department for a private security detail to protect her from the public backlash — and the City of West Hollywood is paying overtime to provide it.
Capt. Bill Moulder of the WeHo Sheriff’s Station confirmed the report Wednesday to KFI-AM 640’s John and Ken, who wondered why Shyne made the request from the Sheriff’s Department instead of the Block by Block program.
Shyne, a vocal critic of the department and an advocate for alternative policing, made the motion that re-allocated millions of dollars from the sheriff’s budget to hire 30 additional unarmed security ambassadors. Many in the community were outraged by the decision, and Shyne reported that she had received threats over social media.
John and Ken were incredulous throughout the program.
“Absolutely no shame,” the hosts said. They compared it to L.A. City Councilmembers who wanted to keep their own security details after cutting LAPD’s budget, and to the Board of Supervisors, who voted for a hiring freeze in the Sheriff’s Department but wanted to retain their own security guards.
“We pay for their security, and we’re supposed to just take the bullet,” they said.