West Hollywood Votes To Defund The Police

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The city of West Hollywood voted Monday to defund the sheriff’s department amid a massive crime spike.

The West Hollywood City Council passed their budget in a 3-2 vote that saw the local sheriff’s department’s funding, with only Mayor Lauren Meister and Councilman John Erickson voting against the decision, WeHoville reported. The decision by Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne and councilmembers Lindsey Horvath and John D’Amico will leave WeHo residents with at least four fewer deputies on duty, the outlet continued.

The decision to reduce funding for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was proposed by City Manager David Wilson right as the city is experiencing a significant increase in crime, WeHoville noted. LA County Sheriff’s department reported a 137% increase in crime in West Hollywood in February when compared to the same time in 2021, the New York Post reported.

The decision by the city council re-allocates the funds to a Block by Block program, where unarmed, blue-shirted security ambassadors provide supplemental law enforcement services, WeHoville continued. “Prioritizing people’s safety doesn’t just mean people with badges and guns on the street,” Horvath said, according to the NY Post, “We have to find another way to keep our residents safe in a way that is affordable.” (RELATED: LA Democrats Are ‘Buying Their Way’ To Leadership And Practicing ‘Voter Suppression,’ Says Mayoral Candidate Craig Greiwe)

“We need our deputies on the street, and we need more of them. We need them on foot patrol. We need them on bikes. We need to bring back whoever was defunded, and even add more. Crime is up. People are yelling for more public safety, not less,” West Hollywood co-founder Ruth Williams begged the Public Safety Commission in April shortly before she died in June, the outlet continued.

Other cities in and around Los Angeles county, including Santa Monica, have become some of the “least safe” they have been in years, according to survey data. More than 160,000 people have left Los Angeles in recent years, largely due to the rising cost of living and soaring crime rates.