WeHo’s West Side saw a staggering 92 percent increase in major crimes this year over last year according to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, one of several troubling crime statistics City Council will hear at their meeting tonight.
The stats, covering January through November 2022, will be presented to Council as part of a semi-annual update prepared by Community Safety Director Danny Rivas and his department.
“The City continues to be a safe place to live, visit, and work,” reads the first line in the report, but a deeper dive into the data suggests that may not always be the case.
There were 2,455 Part One crimes in WeHo reported this year. Last year, there were 1,556.
Yet City Council has spent much of the year looking to “re-imagine” the city’s approach to public safety.
Despite a fierce backlash from residents and business owners this past summer, Council voted to reduce the number of sheriff’s deputies patrolling the city in the coming years. Instead they enlarged the ranks of the Block by Block program, which staffs the unarmed blue-shirted security ambassadors, and ballooned the budgets of the myriad social services agencies under contract with the city.
Unable to detain suspects or investigate crimes, the security ambassadors are employed ostensibly as backup for the Sheriff’s Department, helping them to deal with homeless people while providing the city with other services like visiting businesses and giving driving directions. Nevertheless, they receive a full gamut of law enforcement-style training (e.g. active shooter management, narcan administration).
But Block by Block’s own reports don’t exactly show that the more robust program is yielding results.
BLOCK OR BUST?
Security ambassadors actually made fewer contacts with “unhoused residents” in 2022 than they did in 2021, and contacts with “businesses/managers” plummeted from almost 40,000 to just over 32,000 over the same period of time. While there were about 1,000 more instances of “hospitality assistance” this year, Block by Block only received 1,848 total calls for service, up just slightly from 1,677 in 2021.
Compare that with the 19,686 calls for service logged by L.A.S.D.
And Block by Block reported a mere 17 instances in 2022 where security ambassadors provided assistance to sheriff’s deputies, firefighters or emergency medical responders — even fewer than the 30 times they lent a hand in 2021, raising real concerns as to whether the program is doing what it’s supposed to be doing.
The full set of statistics from the Sheriff’s Department, Block by Block and the social service agencies can be found in the staff report for tonight’s meeting.
360 review West Hollywood I am West Hollywood! Who are you? We are West Hollywood! Who are we? What does West Hollywood mean to you? What do you think about having a mayor to stand up for all of us as the city of West Hollywood? What do you think of City Hall? What do you think of the sheriff’s? What do you think of the security ambassadors? No! What do you think of the homeless? What do you think about the direction of West Hollywood? What does building the future of West Hollywood look like to you? The beacon… Read more »
The security ambassadors were hired to harass the homeless…so now in west hollywood you have the ambassadors harassing the homeless along with Nimbyism,sheriffs department and no shelter or housing for them…so if the homeless are forced to sleep in unsafe streets,why should residents and law enforcement be safe walking the streets…the homeless are People Too !
First – not all crimes are even reported. I personally know of neighbours cars broken into, cars stolen and a nighttime home invasion in my little area. I see the official crime announcements and none were included. I’m kind of concerned for the “Safety Ambassadors” who are not armed law enforcement trailed professionals. The crimes are serious and violent (potentially) what sociopath is gonna care about people wanting to help our growing crime if not Law Enforcement. They are generously willing to try to help everyone in they city, but could become victims of minor to very much worse. Gun… Read more »
Sadly, none of it was directed towards the sewer rats on the council that pretend there is no crime. And now they make that Soros Sow Mayor.
How about Steve Martin as West Hollywood City Advocate? Worked for Letitia James in Manhattan.
Crime is underreported in this city or lack of information since victims and witnesses must give exact descriptions which is hard since people encounter in crowded streets and clubs, bars even restaurants or just standing outside among people. The worse case scenario is robberies, rape or violence that happens inside and outside those exact places, and let us not forget we have 4 main boulevards these crimes are happening and the criminals perpetuating them are stalking people on Santa Monica, Sunset, Melrose, and LaCienega. This is frightening those that lay-in-wait and then just blend in with other bar patrons and… Read more »
Despite the seriousness of this debate last night all the juvenile chit chat departed from it. Even Moulder fell into the morass. Old fashioned noble police work has apparently become a social identity endeavor and a hobby to allow one to be out and about in some type of uniform when they aren’t dedicated to being overly aggressive.
While I support Block by Block based on the good work they have historically done on the Eastside, these stats have to have some bearing on budget decision making. This program was developed before it became politically fashionable to embrace an unarmed law enforcement presence, but perhaps the expansion of the program has reached a point of diminishing returns. While neighborhood groups are often accused of blind support for the Sheriff, it seems to Council has blindly embraced unarmed patrols and mental health outreach workers. We have to take a hard look at the figures and determine what works and… Read more »
Poinsettia Park smoking meth right out on the street in front of kids. Garbage and tents littering the streets from the meth head losers. Saturday they lit grocery carts full of clothes and tents on fire and today its still there. The leaders of this community and their employees are garbage. We’re doomed by liberals.
Yes, focused on their own personal political aspirations and the hell with taxpayers’ concerns. Giving lip service to climate change etc. Just fix the broken parking meters and power wash the sidewalks and pick up the litter all over the place. You’d think West Hollywood is a Third World country.
Yep. If government folk just walked down the street and looked around at the mess they are “leaders” over they might be embarrassed.
Poinsettia Park is in the City of Los Angeles (NOT West Hollywood). Contact LAPD and LA City District 5 Council Member Kathy Yaroslavsky.
The fact that they’ve had no impact is of little surprise. I’ve rarely noticed them doing anything, aside from socializing with one another or conversing on their phones. More often than not, they aren’t even fulfilling the alleged hospitality aspect of the position; as they ignore passers bye and generally look unapproachable. At the very least I would have expected them to fulfill a role similar to that of the Hollywood Partnership’s Ambassador Program over on Hollywood Blvd.; greeting people and answering questions. Yet, in WeHo, the ambassador program appears to be a complete waste of money and resources.
In their defense, they use their phones to get notices to respond to requests for assistance or when a crime has been reported. But I get that it often looks like they are not paying attention.
I’ve seen them chase away homeless from 7-11 but other than that I can’t tell you what they actually do. The residents wants more Sheriffs deployed and on patrol. Way too many outsiders come to WeHo just to do crime.
A strong, well involved, city sponsored WATCH program with drills and other activities would cost a pittance of the BXB company and help build and maintains much desired sense of community. Too old fashioned? Seem to work well in other cities, why not here?
Not old fashioned at all. Historically effective when people took their jobs and responsibilities seriously. We would be better served by Boy Scouts.