It seemed like a quiet Christmas Day. The streets were mostly empty. But one Sheriff’s Department vehicle rushed past me on Santa Monica Blvd and then another.
Today was Christmas but the Sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, and paramedics were all working. I parked my car and wanted to see what was happening.
I asked a deputy what was happening and was told the officers were responding to a medical emergency. The paramedics, and fire department, along with a number of Sheriff’s deputies were responding to a 911 call. A WeHo resident’s life was at stake. It was Christmas. And emergency responders were all working.
There were no security ambassadors on site. Sheriff’s deputies had to control the traffic flow, answer neighbors’ questions and keep the look-ee-loos a safe distance.
My thoughts then moved to the recent cuts to the Sheriff’s Department. The motion to cut two additional deputies in January, and to compromise our public safety had ramifications. This was a quiet Christmas morning but the job of the Sheriff is multi-faceted, including responding to emergencies in life-or-death situations. When Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne, Councilmember John Erickson, and newly elected Councilmember Chelsea Byers chose to cut the deputy force, they were cutting the ability for the Sheriff to respond to life-and-death situations for residents.
The cuts to the Sheriff were made under the auspices that deputies are not qualified or needed to respond to “homeless” situations. We need more mental health professionals to clean up the homeless. But mental health professionals are not going to help a resident with a heart attack or other emergency that requires skilled and trained officers or paramedics.
The vote to cut the Sheriff’s deputies prioritizes homeless initiatives over real-life circumstances of life or death. The residents deserve a say in how our public safety dollars are spent.
As I left the scene a quick question to the Sheriff: “Have you seen any Block by Block ambassadors to help you with the neighbors or the traffic.”
The officer’s response was quick and clear: “They just call us to do the work.”
Sadly, cuts to our Sheriff will affect our security and public safety at the most critical times in the most critical life and death situations.
It’s up to you to speak out — write to email@example.com
This City Council needs to be ousted.
Great article, Larry. It’s a reminder that the silent majority needs to start speaking up.
I drove by one of the “security ambassadors” yesterday. She was seriously obese….and just standing on a corner looking into her phone.
This program is such a joke. Hire more police ASAP you dimwits.
If a resident is having a heart attack, should they see if an “Ambassador” is available?
What is your point? Cutting the Sheriff’s deputies on duty has nothing to do with medical emergencies. So the Sheriff “had to control the traffic flow”? Where were they when I called to help control the massive crowds on Sunset blocking everything and presenting an obvious safety hazard when Doughbriik’s Pizza opened? Nowhere to be found, as usual. Granted, they have to get things right sometimes just by the odds, but in my experience the odds are against us residents.
It does have to do with medical emergencies. I personally watched two sheriffs deputies pull an elderly couple out of a burning apartment structure here in WEHO. Turns out one of those deputies was responsible for saving an infants life two weeks before who was not breathing. The same city council that honored her subsequently defunded her station. Sheriffs deputies are trained in BLS, stop the bleed, CPR, etc and more times than not are on the scene of medical traumas and other emergencies before fire. Now traffic control for the grand opening of a pizzeria sounds like something that… Read more »
Council don’t listen. I’ve emailed them, no response, they couldn’t care less about those opposed to the cuts. They pathetic individuals, all three of them.
Shyne, Erickson and Byers do not live in the real world. They live in a made-up world of privilege devoid of accountability.
What are you insinuating by saying “and these are not security ambassadors”? We all know that 911 calls do not go to security ambassadors and we can clearly see that that is a sheriffs uniform on the man running to help but I have no doubt in my mind that if a security ambassador was riding by while someone was yelling help they too would have run into that building to do so. Your comment is just another verbal assault on the men and women ambassadors. We know where your publication stands on the issue. Stop taking cheap shots to… Read more »
It’s not old and will go on and on and on and on, until they start listening.