Hollywood To Defund Police During Skyrocketing Crime Wave


Despite growing crime rates in the region, West Hollywood has opted to cut law enforcement spending, leaving the California community noted for its vibrant Sunset Strip entertainment attraction with up to five fewer officers on patrol.

On Monday, the council approved the budget 3-2, with Councilman John Erickson and Mayor Lauren Meister voting against it.

The West Hollywood City Council also authorized keeping bars open until four in the morning. and more money was allocated for a Russian arts event.

The poll was held only three months after the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department revealed that crime in West Hollywood increased shockingly by 137% between February 2022 and the same month the previous year.

The hip 35,000-person neighborhood, which is home to some of LA County’s most popular restaurants and nightclubs, has recently developed a reputation as a pickpocket hotspot.

Following the council vote on Tuesday, money that was intended to cover the wages of up to five sheriff’s deputies will instead go to the city’s Block by Block program, which offers unarmed security ambassadors, over the course of the next two fiscal years.

The revised budget calls for the removal of the first two deputies in six months, followed by three more in another six months, but the Entertainment Policing Team deputy will be reinstated.

Meister, a Democrat, has been an outspoken opponent of cutting back on the number of deputies assigned to police city streets. Many local citizens and business owners have also voiced grave worries about public safety.

In response, Mayor Pro Tem Sepi Shyne asserted that the 30 safety ambassadors who will assume patrol responsibilities offered greater value than sheriff’s officers.

The council also decided to raise the funding for a Russian cultural festival by $14,000, to $50,000.