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West Hollywood cancels funding for the sheriff’s department. despite high crime




West Hollywood has voted to cut funding for law enforcement, leaving the California city famous for its bustling nightlife destination Sunset Strip with up to five fewer deputies on patrol – despite soaring crime rates in the region.

The council passed the budget with a 3-2 vote on Monday, with Mayor Lauren Meister and Councilman John Erickson voting against, reported

Meanwhile, the West Hollywood City Council approved keeping bars open until 4 a.m. and increased funding for a Russian arts festival.

The vote came just three months after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced that crime in West Hollywood jumped 137% in February 2022, compared to the same period last year.

The first two sheriff's deputies will be removed from patrol duties in West Hollywood in six months, with three more to follow six months later.
The first two sheriff’s deputies will be removed from patrol duties in West Hollywood in six months, with three more to follow six months later.
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“With a public safety crisis and residents, businesses and tourists expecting us to deliver, I don’t think this approach, while timed, would help the community achieve our goals of creating a West Hollywood. safer,” Erickson wrote in a tweet explaining why he voted against the budget.

The trendy community of 35,000, home to some of LA County’s hottest restaurants and clubs, has recently become a destination for pickpockets.

Tuesday’s council vote means that over the next two fiscal years, funds meant to pay the salaries of five sheriff’s deputies will instead be funneled into the city’s Block by Block program, which provides unarmed safety ambassadors.

“Priorizing people’s safety doesn’t just mean people with badges and guns on the street,” council member Lindsey P. Horvath said at the meeting. “We need to find another way to keep our residents safe in an affordable way.”

Under the new budget, the first two deputies will be removed from their posts in six months, and three more will follow six months later, but an entertainment police team deputy will be reinstated.

Mayor Lauren Meister, a Democrat, voted against the budget after raising concerns about public safety.
Mayor Lauren Meister, a Democrat, voted against the budget after raising concerns about public safety.

Meister, a Democrat, has strongly opposed reducing the number of deputies patrolling city streets – and many local business owners and residents have also expressed serious concerns about public safety.

“I will not vote for the budget if we cut the sheriffs (funds),” Meister said. “First of all, nobody has the gun problem that we have in this country. You can’t expect us to have a public safety team where most people are unarmed to defend our citizens.”

Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne countered by saying the 30 safety ambassadors who will take on patrol duties are “more bang for their buck” than sheriff’s deputies.

Councilor John Erickson rejected the budget, saying drastically cutting funding for MPs was the wrong approach.
Councilor John Erickson rejected the budget, saying drastically cutting funding for MPs was the wrong approach.

Reinventing policing means reallocating funding. You can’t just say it without actually doing it. Period,” she said.

Meanwhile, the council voted to increase the budget for a Russian arts festival from $14,000 to $50,000, reported.




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