WeHo City to Host Listening Session on Mental Health and Homelessness Response from Law Enforcement

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Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The City of West Hollywood and the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission will host a Community Listening Session on Mental Health and Homelessness Response from Law Enforcement. The free virtual session will take place on Monday, June 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. via WebEx.

The City of West Hollywood invites community members to listen in regarding the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in the City of West Hollywood. Local leaders would like to hear feedback about experiences with Sheriff’s Deputies and how community members feel about public safety — specifically in the areas of law enforcement response to mental health situations and homelessness response in West Hollywood.

The virtual community listening session will take place using the WebEx platform on Monday, June 14, 2021 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Registration is required via WebEx at https://bit.ly/3owEPqn. The session is hosted by the City of West Hollywood and its Public Safety Commission, and by the Los Angeles County Civilian Oversight Commission, which facilitates public transparency and accountability with respect to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Community members may submit comments or questions in advance at http://bit.ly/2M0F3an. Observations, thoughts, and suggestions about the following topics are encouraged: public safety interactions with people who have mental health conditions; law enforcement response to homelessness; what law enforcement is doing well in West Hollywood; and other public safety issues affecting West Hollywood.

Virtual community listening session speakers will include:

  • Lael Rubin, Civilian Oversight Commission Chair and Former Deputy District Attorney;
  • Amanda Laflen, Chair, City of West Hollywood Public Safety Commission;
  • Tory Berger, Vice Chair, City of West Hollywood Public Safety Commission;
  • John Gannon, Captain, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department;
  • Sanjay Shah, LCSW, Mental Health Clinical Program Manager II, L.A. County Department of Mental Health;
  • Ryan Vienna, Lieutenant, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department;
  • Eden Anai Luna, Transgender Economic Empowerment Project; and
  • Clifford Roberts, Step Up on Second.

Additional panelists will include:

  • Casimiro U. Tolentino, Civilian Oversight Commission Vice-Chair and Former Administrative Law Judge for the State of California;
  • Annadennise Briz, Sergeant, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department;
  • Sergio A. Venegas, Deputy, L.A. County Sheriff’s Department;
  • David Giugni, Social Services Manager, City of West Hollywood; and
  • Brian K. Williams, Esq., Executive Director, L.A. County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission.

After listening to community feedback and conducting research, L.A. County Civilian Oversight Commission staff will work with ad hoc committees to prepare recommendations to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the public. As the Commission works to boost transparency and accountability, community input drives the ongoing analysis of the Sheriff’s Department’s policies, practices, and procedures. For more information about the L.A. County Civilian Oversight Commission, please visit https://coc.lacounty.gov. For more information about the community listening session, please email cocnotify@coc.lacounty.gov or call (213) 253-5678.

The City of West Hollywood’s Public 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 services, and Block by Block and PACWEST for additional safety services. To learn more about the agencies, programs, and initiatives that make the City of West Hollywood a safe place, download “Public Safety in the City of West Hollywood” at www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=42465.

The City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Commission meets monthly and provides the community an opportunity to provide input on public safety related services. For more information, please visit www.weho.org/city-government/boards-commissions/commissions/public-safety-commission.

For more information about Public Safety in the City of West Hollywood, visit www.weho.org/publicsafety or contact City of West Hollywood Public Safety Director Kristin Cook at (323) 848-6414 or kcook@weho.org.

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