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West Hollywood votes to DEFUND the sheriffs and reduce their staff numbers by four

The West Hollywood City Council voted Monday to relieve their sheriffs — despite crime rising 137 percent year over year earlier this spring.

The proposal will reduce the current force of about 60 sheriff’s deputies by four.

The money saved by reducing the workforce is used to pay for unarmed “security ambassadors” under a scheme called Block By Block.

Despite cutting the police budget, the council agreed to inflate funds for a Russian arts festival, increasing their contribution by $14,000 to $50,000.

Lauren Meister, mayor of West Hollywood and a council member who voted against the plan, called it illogical, noting that the Los Angeles enclave is plagued by violence.

West Hollywood City Council voted Monday to relieve their sheriffs — despite crime rising 137 percent year over year earlier this spring (file image from 2020)

West Hollywood City Council voted Monday to relieve their sheriffs — despite crime rising 137 percent year over year earlier this spring (file image from 2020)

“I’m not going to vote for the budget if we cut the sheriff’s (funds),” Meister said, according to local news site WeHoville.com

“First of all, no one has the gun problem that we have in this country. You can’t expect us to have a public safety team where most people aren’t armed to defend our citizens.”

West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station oversees the city of West Hollywood and the unincorporated communities of Franklin Canyon, Universal City — which includes Universal Theme Park, Studios and Citywalk — and the Federal Enclave in West Los Angeles.

Fellow councilor John M. Erickson voted with her against the plan.

“Community safety is our number one concern,” he told Fox News.

‘If I’ve heard from countless residents that they want to feel safer, it’s integral planning and something that’s not just about a decision.’

The proposal was passed by a three-to-two vote.

Sepi Shyne, who suggested the plan, said the sheriffs cost too much, and that the Block by Block program was more “value for money.”

“What we know now is that our residents want foot patrols,” Shyne said.

“We have to be fiscally responsible.

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Los Angeles County Sheriff Officers disperse protesters protesting Breonna Taylor in West Hollywood, California on Sept. 25, 2020

Los Angeles County Sheriff Officers disperse protesters protesting Breonna Taylor in West Hollywood, California on Sept. 25, 2020

“And we’ve all talked for two years. A new look at policing means a reallocation of resources. You can’t just say it without actually doing it. Period of time.’

John D’Amico, another councilor who voted in favor of Shyne’s plan, emphasized that more people will be patrolling the streets, through the Block by Block plan.

“In my mind, this is an increase in security forces with 60 extra eyes on the street working directly with residents and the sheriff and code compliance and our social service providers — and two fewer deputies this fall,” he said. Fox news in a statement.

The first two delegates will leave in the fall. Three more will leave over the course of the year, but the workforce will only decrease by four as an additional deputy will be added to the Entertainment Policing division.

Residents are apprehensive about the decision, WeHoville.com reported, saying residents and business owners from across the city have expressed deep concern in recent months about slashing the sheriff’s budget amid a crime wave, while at the same time expressing general unease. .

West Hollywood is known for its vibrant gay community, and the Pride shooting in Oslo set people across the country on edge. In addition, Judge Clarence Thomas’s advisory issued Friday, coinciding with the repeal of Roe v. Wade, suggested ending same-sex marriage and other civil rights.

Lauren Meister, the mayor of West Hollywood, voted against the plan to relieve the sheriffs

Lauren Meister, the mayor of West Hollywood, voted against the plan to relieve the sheriffs

In February, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) reported that crime in West Hollywood was up 137 percent from the same time last year.

In February 2022, approximately 250 ‘Part One’ crimes were reported, including murder, rape, burglary, aggravated assault, arson and human trafficking.

As of February 2021, 105 such incidents were reported, KTLA reports.

This number also marks the highest monthly total of crimes classified as ‘Part One’ since LASD began recording those statistics.

The decision to relieve the sheriffs comes just a week after Captain Bill Moulder was sworn in as chief of the West Hollywood office.

On June 16, Molder told: Beverly Press he planned to focus on preventing the most common crimes in the district – property crime and assault.

“Because the things that determine our numbers are theft-type crimes, that’s and will remain our main focus,” he said at the time.

‘Especially crimes that take place in our entertainment venues, such as pickpocketing, which take place inside the establishments and outside on the street.

Street robberies will also be a point of attention. Violent crime is always a concern and we will work on that.’

Moulder said statistics show that nearly a third of street robberies involve people without homes, so he plans to work more outreach with the city to address the problem.

“It’s important to do outreach, and I think we can really make a difference in preventing crime,” he said.

‘I have had a lot of contact with the community, our city itself and the city council and have developed a great working relationship. I intend to continue that work. It is an honor to serve in this capacity.”

He did not comment on their vote on Monday night.

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