Public Safety. It’s the issue that has top billing at every candidate forum, and it’s the first thing everyone asks me about when I knock on their doors. We’ve all seen the statistics, crime is up 137% from last year, and the current council’s decision in June to cut the funding for the Sheriff’s Department (or reallocate it to Block By Block, whatever phrasing you or anyone you talk to uses) has everyone worried about walking our streets at night. What can we do to make West Hollywood safer again?
My plan isn’t a monumental one, or anything groundbreaking and new, it’s simple – give the Sheriff’s Department the funding and resources they need to keep us safe. If you’ve read any of my Op-Eds before, you know I use math, statistics, and facts to back up my ideas and plans. So brace yourself, because here they come. It may not be as sexy as platitudes and buzz words are, but it’s proven! I’m a finance guy, so it’s in my nature.
Five years ago, West Hollywood had 62 deputies in rotation. As of 2021, we were down to 59, which then dropped to 46 due to reasons that aren’t necessarily within our control (retirement, relocation, injury, deputies quitting, etc). After the decision in June takes full effect, we will be down to 42. That puts West Hollywood at 0.9 deputies per 1000 residents, compared to LA’s 2.3 per 1000. West Hollywood is a densely populated area with a lot of traffic for businesses, nightlife, and restaurants. We need a higher ratio of deputies to residents, not a lower one.
I spoke with Captain Moulder, our West Hollywood Sheriffs Captain, and asked specifically what they would do if they got that funding back. I wanted to make sure that the money is going to serve the residents, and not be wasted on things that aren’t going to make us safer. Captain Moulder told me that with that funding, the Sheriff’s Department would increase foot patrols in the neighborhoods. Before the pandemic, the city also allocated special funding to the Sheriff’s Department specifically for those foot patrols. I want to restore that funding as well.
Captain Moulder also said that they would like to increase the Entertainment Division (the division of the Sheriff’s Department that patrols the nightlife areas of West Hollywood – Santa Monica Blvd, Sunset Blvd, etc) from four nights a week (Wed-Sat) to five nights a week, and ideally every night, if the funding allowed for it. With the June budget decision, we did get another deputy for our Entertainment Division, and Part 1 crimes (the really bad ones) have decreased from 355 in June, to 242 in July, and even further still to 163 in August. Having more deputies on patrol keeps us safer.
Proponents of the defund movement are using examples of police brutality against minorities and excessive force to justify taking their funding away. I’m not saying that this doesn’t happen, I know it does. My father is a former police officer, and I went on ride alongs with him all of the time. While I never saw a use of excessive force with my own eyes, I certainly saw instances of officers abusing their power and treating some people better than others. But we can’t, and we shouldn’t, practice collective punishment. There are bad apples, but the vast majority of our peace officers are good, hardworking, caring, and fair people. Instead of punishing the many for the actions of the few, we should use some of that funding to establish and increase on-the-job trainings, and educating deputies on the experiences and fears of people who may feel like police are working against them, and not for them.
I’ve spoken with neighbors and residents as I’ve campaigned and canvassed, and that’s what they want, so that’s what I’m going to push for.
As always, I welcome and want your feedback! My plans come from talking to you. You can reach out to me by phone or text on my cell phone at (323) 250-0992, or by email at JC@JordanForWeHo.com. I promise you, you’re more likely to make an impression by contacting me directly with your constructive criticisms than you are by calling me mean names in a public forum under a fake name. But feel free to comment whatever you’d like. Snakes and stones never broke my bones 🙂
If you want to see more of my platform, please check out my website, JordanForWeHo.com, and if you support me, please do me a huge favor by telling ten other people to vote for me! I could really use your help. Thank you so much!