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Sunday, August 14, 2022

West Hollywood votes to defame sheriff’s department despite rising crime

West Hollywood has voted to reduce law enforcement funding, leaving the California city famous for its busy Sunset Strip nightlife destination with five fewer deputies on patrol — despite skyrocketing crime rates in the area.

As WeHoville.com reports, the council passed the budget by a 3-2 vote on Monday, with Mayor Lauren Meister and Councilman John Erickson voting against it.

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

The vote comes just three months after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported that crime in West Hollywood rose 137 percent in February 2022 compared to the same period last year.

The first two sheriff’s duties would be removed from patrol duties in West Hollywood in six months, and three more would follow for six months thereafter.
Getty Images

“With a public safety crisis, and the residents, businesses and tourists we hope to deliver, I don’t think this approach, when the time runs out, will help the community achieve our goals of making a safer West Hollywood ,” Erikson wrote in a tweet, explaining why he voted to reject the budget.

The trendy community of 35,000 residents, which is home to some of LA County’s most talked-about restaurants and clubs, has recently become a destination for pickpockets.

Tuesday’s council vote means that over the next two fiscal years, money to pay the salaries of five sheriff deputies will be funneled into the city’s block by block program, rather than the unarmed security ambassador.

Council member Lindsey P. Horvath said during the meeting, “Priorizing people’s safety doesn’t just mean people with badges and guns on the street.” “We have to find another way to keep our residents safe that is affordable.”

Under the new budget, the first two deputies will be removed in six months, and three more will follow for six months, but an entertainment policing team deputy will be reinstated.

Democrat Mayor Lauren Meister Voted Against The Budget After Expressing Concerns About Public Safety.
Democrat Mayor Lauren Meister voted against the budget after expressing concerns about public safety.
Associated Press

Meester, a Democrat, has been a vocal opponent of reducing the number of deputies patrolling the city’s streets – and many local business owners and residents have also expressed serious concerns about public safety.

“If we cut the sheriff’s (money), I’m not going to vote for the budget,” Mr. “First of all, no one has a gun problem in this country. You can’t expect us to have a public security team where most people are not armed to protect our citizens.”

Mayor Pro Tame Sepi Shayne countered by saying that the 30 security ambassadors who would handle patrol duties represented “more for the buck” than the sheriff’s duties.

Counselor John Erickson Rejected The Budget, Saying That Reducing Funding For Deputies Was Not The Right Approach.
Counselor John Erickson rejected the budget, saying that reducing funding for deputies was not the right approach.

“Redefining the police system means reallocating money. You can’t say this without actually doing it. Period,” she said.

At the same time, the council voted to increase the budget for the Russian arts festival from $14,000 to $50,000, reports DailyMail.com.

World Nation News Desk
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