The City Council of the City of West Hollywood will convene a Study Session on Nighttime Safety on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 6 p.m. at the City of West Hollywood’s Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard.
The Study Session will include members of the West Hollywood City Council and representatives from the City’s Public Safety Commission, Women’s Advisory Board, Transgender Advisory Board, and the LGBTQ+ Advisory Board. The Study Session is an opportunity to hear from representatives of each of these bodies, and to discuss ways to cohesively address the issue of nighttime safety. Details about the Study Session are posted in an Agenda at www.weho.org/councilagendas. The Agenda contains information about how to attend and/or view the meeting, how to provide written correspondence or an e-comment, and how to provide public comment.
The Study Session will be available for viewing through the City’s WeHoTV website area at www.weho.org/wehotv. To provide additional access to the City’s public meetings, WeHoTV broadcasts are also available as a courtesy within the City of West Hollywood on Spectrum Cable Channel 10; on the City’s WeHoTV YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/wehotv; and on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Roku streaming platforms by searching for “WeHoTV” using search functions.
West Hollywood is home to more than 200 entertainment-oriented businesses, such as restaurants, lounges, bars, and nightclubs. There have been reports of individuals feeling that they may have been drugged (“roofied”) at entertainment venues. Some community members have raised concerns about feeling uncomfortable filing criminal reports. Community safety is always the City of West Hollywood’s number-one priority and the City takes all claims seriously. The City and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station urge anyone who believes they are a victim of any crime – or anyone in the community with any public safety concerns – to reach out to the Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850. In an emergency, always call 911.
The West Hollywood City Council approved a plan to purchase and distribute drink-spiking test strips to businesses and patrons. The test strips are designed to detect the possible presence of “date rape” drugs, such as GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate) or ketamine. The test-strip user drops a small amount of drink liquid on the testing patch, which turns a color such as red or blue if drugs are present.
In advance of the Study Session, the City will host a drink-spiking test strips distribution event at 4:30 p.m. with members of the West Hollywood City Council and appointed officials. Following brief comments from representatives adjacent to the Council Chambers/Public Meeting Room, located at 625 N. San Vicente Boulevard, distribution event participants will walk to area bars and restaurants to distribute test strip kits.
The City of West Hollywood has several initiatives in place to assist in creating and maintaining a safe environment in nightlife establishments. The City’s Community Safety Department has developed a training manual for owners and managers of bars, lounges, and clubs. The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station’s Entertainment Policing Team (EPT) is a team of Sheriff’s Deputies who are primarily focused on entertainment- and alcohol-related law enforcement issues in the City and, on a nightly basis, the EPT actively patrols approximately 60 bars, nightclubs, and hotels and liaises with management of nightlife establishments.
West Hollywood became the first city in California to pass an Ordinance, in late 2021, to require Bystander Intervention training for personnel in business establishments that serve alcohol for onsite consumption. The Bystander Intervention training program launched in March 2022. Provided by the Rape Treatment Center (RTC) at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center, the training is an educational course that addresses the issue of drug-facilitated sexual assaults and date rape drugs. The training also promotes the proactive role that onsite alcoholic beverage sales establishments can take in the prevention of sexual assaults.