What we see security ambassadors actually doing at their safety kiosks

While City Hall sings the praises of its security ambassadors, WeHoans on the street are continually presented with a dimmer picture of their performance — stories of sleeping on the job, neglect of duty, even open drinking and drug use.

These anecdotes clash with reports generated by city staff that paint a rosy picture of the Block by Block program, which provides the city with its squad of unarmed security guards.

The “safety kiosks” — those random sidewalk podiums manned (at times) by security ambassadors — are the setting for many of the most infuriating first-hand accounts circulating in WeHo.

Yet City Hall has touted the kiosks as the catalyst for reduced crime on the city’s East Side, and they’ve waved many numbers and metrics in the public’s face to persuade them the kiosks are working.

WEHOville spent just over two minutes Tuesday afternoon observing the safety kiosk located in front of the Ramada, and video footage we captured shows the on-duty security ambassador radiating misery, ignoring passersby and appearing to fall asleep at the podium. Whether she was feeling ill, anxious or just slacking off, the ambassador clearly wasn’t up to the job at this particular moment.

But moments like these continue to bubble up in conversation, challenging the wisdom in City Council’s decision to sink millions more into the program and, concerningly, put a greater slice of WeHo’s public safety needs on their plates.

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Koweho
Koweho
7 days ago

Maybe they could park cars. Seem like valet stands. It would keep them awake at least.

Randy
Randy
12 days ago

Spending two minutes observing one member of this team is hardly scientific, and pretty unfair. But let us stir up the hate. And for everyone blaming this all on Sepi, I wonder how many watched the Council meeting where this went down. My recollection was that this was spearheaded by Horvath. Nika was her appointment. Sepi agreed, and moved the motion forward. But this is not all her fault, and D’Amico also voted for the item. To date, NO DEPUTIES HAVE BEEN CUT. In fact, 2 were added. D’Amico wisely suggested that we wait to see how this program works,… Read more »

Larry Block
Admin
12 days ago
Reply to  Randy

you are wrong, the deputies have been cut a) pre covid not restored, and two additional starting jan 1.

Joshua88
Joshua88
14 days ago

Hardly fair.
The woman is alone, with no apparent distractions.
There is nothing to do there except be a presence, observe, and help when asked.

Stop picking on these people, as you may need their assistance one day.

Ask the woman what was going on in those two minutes.

Davedi
Davedi
14 days ago

If they are so beloved by the Council how come they hang outside during the city council meetings and two sheriffs have to stand watch down in front? Maybe they only like armed personnel when it’s their safety at risk.?

e-ric
e-ric
16 days ago

Sometimes the Ambassadors patrol the neighborhood streets adjacent to busy commercial areas, but not very often. Additionally, they are either reluctant or can’t confront Commercial owners with regard to disturbances, they do confront the public who are creating disturbances that affect neighborhoods, but again, they don’t seem to patrol likely locations on a regular basis.

Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook
17 days ago

Lullaby, and good night
With pink roses bedight
With lilies o’er spread
Is my baby’s sweet head.
Lay you down now, and rest
May your slumber be blessed
Lay you down now, and rest
May your slumber be blessed!

Shhhh! Let’s not wake the sleepy ambassador. I just got her to close her eyes.

Valeri
Valeri
17 days ago

LOL at what nutjobs we’ve been acting like since June 2020 all because of a criminal high on drugs who did something stupid and got killed. “Oh no! A cop killed a criminal! Police are evil and need to be abolished!” Are we EVER going to come back to our senses or iust run around in mass hysteria? Probably not at the rate we keep legalizing drugs.

Christopher Roth
Christopher Roth
20 days ago

The kiosk on Santa Monica Blvd. at LaBrea is behind the bus stop on the NW corner of the block. This bus stop used to have many problems with people loitering and sometimes harassing pedestrians. I’ve seen a couple of incidents where a man walked into the street and vandalized cars. I don’t know what you think the security ambassadors should be doing, but knowing that there is that pair of eyes focused on that intersection makes a huge difference in the perceived safety of that area. It’s coming back to life. Also kind of shady that you would post… Read more »

Scott Sigman
Scott Sigman
20 days ago

Oh they are hidden. So when a homeless person walks down my drive and empties a recycling bin next to my bed room at 5: 30. Will they handle the noise and problem.

Ham Shipey
Ham Shipey
20 days ago
Reply to  Scott Sigman

Don’t worry…..they’re on it.

The Real Zam
21 days ago

Look, I’m not the biggest proponent of the BBB program, but give these people a break. The kiosks are there to provide a visible presence and offer assistance to those who request it. Regular citizens, let alone visitors, don’t know the type of support they can offer. This is a problem, but this isn’t the fault of those who are actually doing the job. What do you expect these people to do when no one actually needs them? They’re sitting in an uncomfortable stool at a glorified rolling podium that’s less stable than my rollator. Unless we give them something… Read more »

Olivia
Olivia
21 days ago

Well, I’ve seen the guy on Melrose and Westmount asleep at his podium more than once…

John Arnold
John Arnold
21 days ago

The monthly updates presented in the Public Safety commission need to be scrutinized more. The numbers will tell you everything you need to know. The Block by Block effort primarily impacts “business interaction,” “hospitality assistance,” and “restroom counts.” It’s not clear to me how these security ambassadors are actually impacting safety in our community.

Have a look for yourself at the most recent numbers:
https://weho.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=&event_id=1414&meta_id=245756

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