The West Hollywood City Council discussed a range of topics, including changes related to community safety programs, during its regular meeting on Monday, June 27, 2022, discussed and voted to approve the City’s FY 2022-23 & 2023-24 two-year operating budget and capital work plan.
The item was approved in a 3-2 vote with a motion by Mayor Pro Tempore Sepi Shyne, seconded by Councilmember John D’Amico, with the “yes” vote of Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath, noting the “no” votes of Mayor Lauren Meister and Councilmember John M. Erickson.
The approved motion includes the following specifics related to Community Safety:
- Increase Block by Block (BBB) security ambassadors by 30 positions to perform foot patrols in residential neighborhoods; staff will return to the City Council with an item for an updated agreement for services in August 2022;
- Add one Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) Deputy assigned to the Entertainment Policing Team beginning July 1, 2022;
- Maintain existing funding levels for LASD Supplemental Patrols for FY2022-23;
- Decrease the number of LASD Deputies by two in 90 days;
- Staff will report back to the City Council on crime trends and to evaluate the BBB staffing increase in nine months (six months after the 90-day period) before a decision is made to potentially decrease by three additional LASD Deputies – if approved, decrease by three additional LASD Deputies; and
- Evaluate decreasing LASD Deputies during Pride and increasing Block by Block (BBB) Security Ambassadors.
The City of West Hollywood’s Community Safety Department provides oversight of law enforcement and coordinates community programs to reduce crime and increase public safety and the quality of life for citizens, businesses, and visitors to West Hollywood. The City contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for police protection, the Los Angeles County Fire Department for fire protection, and Block by Block for its security ambassador program
The Block by Block security ambassador program was first established in 2013 and provides a highly visible uniformed presence at the street level. Block by Block security ambassadors are deployed on bicycles along major streets, alleys, City parking lots, and residential neighborhoods, which has a direct positive impact on safety and neighborhood livability.
On Monday, June 6, 2022 the City Council approved a two-year agreement for services with Block by Block, which includes a regular deployment of approximately 36 full-time security ambassadors, plus 6 additional ambassadors at kiosks and on foot patrols, and approximately 13 full time ambassadors as fixed-post security guards at the City’s facilities. The approved motion on Monday, June 27, 2022 expands upon this by 30 full-time security ambassadors and an updated agreement for services is anticipated to go to the City Council for approval in August 2022.
The Block by Block Security Ambassador Hotline provides access to free, 24/7 support by phone or text at (323) 821-8604.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood Station provides law enforcement services to the West Hollywood community. For anyone with public safety concerns, please reach out to the Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850. In an emergency, always call 911.
The staff report and related attachments for the City’s FY 2022-23 & 2023-24 two-year operating budget and capital work plan are posted here for reference (scroll down to Item 4.C.): https://weho.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=16&clip_id=3786
A link to video of the June 27 City Council meeting is available on the City of West Hollywood’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYkaM58XUnM – the operating budget and capital work plan item begins at approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes.
For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s Community Safety programs and initiatives, please visit www.weho.org/publicsafety.
For more information, contact City of West Hollywood Community Safety Director Danny Rivas at (323) 848-6424 or [email protected] or Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood Station Captain William (Bill) Moulder at (310) 855-8850 or [email protected]. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.