West Hollywood Votes to Cut Funding for the Sheriff’s Department

There will be up to five fewer deputies on the streets of West Hollywood, despite the area’s skyrocketing crime rates, after residents there voted to cut law enforcement funding.

As reported by WeHoville.com, the council approved the budget by a margin of 3-2 on Monday, despite the opposition of Mayor Lauren Meister and Councilman John Erickson.

Bars will remain open until 4 a.m. as long as the West Hollywood City Council agrees to keep them open, while funding for the annual Russian Arts Festival has been increased. West Hollywood crime rose by a startling 137% in February 2022, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, just three months before the vote was cast.

West Hollywood

Creating a safer West Hollywood

On Twitter, Erickson explained why he voted no on the budget: “With a public safety crisis and the expectation of residents, businesses and tourists for us to deliver, I do not think this approach, while timed out, would help the community achieve our goals of creating a safer West Hollywood.”

Pickpockets have recently flocked to the trendy neighborhood of 35,000 residents, home to some of Los Angeles County’s most popular restaurants and clubs. The city’s Block by Block program, which provides unarmed security ambassadors, will get the money that was supposed to go to the salaries of up to five sheriff’s deputies.

West Hollywood

According to Council member Lindsey P. Horvath, “people with badges and guns on the street” isn’t what it means to prioritize public safety. Instead, there must be a more cost-effective way to ensure the safety of our residents. However, an Entertainment Policing Team deputy will be restored under the new budget, which calls for removing the first two deputies in six months, followed by three additional deputies in the following six months.

Many local business owners and residents, including Democrat Meister, have expressed grave concerns about public safety in opposing any reduction in the number of deputies assigned to patrol city streets.

Meister said that sheriff (funds) would be cut, and she won’t vote for the budget. The first thing to note is that no other country has a problem with guns like ours. To protect our citizens, you can’t expect us to have a public safety team where most members are unarmed. ”

West Hollywood

“More for the buck” than sheriff’s deputies, Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne countered. “Reimagining policing means reallocating funding. You can’t just say it without actually doing it. Period,” she said.

According to DailyMail.com, the council also approved a $14,000 increase in the budget for a Russian arts festival, bringing the total to $50,000.