Along with other strange notions that make no sense, the concept of “de-funding” police arose in 2020 following riots and violets protests, notably the death of George Floyd by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
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Yet in November 2021, voters in the city resoundingly rejected a proposal to reinvent policing, the Daily Mail reported.
Approximately 56 percent of voters rejected a ballot question that would have removed the Minneapolis Police Department from the city charter and replaced it with a ‘public-health oriented’ Department of Public Safety.
Obviously, voters did not think that fewer police would solve criminal problems
Joe Biden and the ACLU have spoken out against defunding movements, with Biden insisting there should be more funding for police.
Eric Adams was elected as mayor of New York City in part because he vowed to push back against defunding the police and promised reform without financial cuts, Daily Mail continued.
Congressman Ritchie Torres, who represents New York, said in February: ‘The defund police movement is dead in New York City — and good riddance.
‘And any elected official who’s advocating for the abolition and/or even the defunding of police is out of touch with reality and should not be taken seriously.’
However, these opinions are not held in Hollywood, California.
West Hollywood is known for its vibrant gay community, and the shooting in Oslo during Pride set people nationwide on edge. Furthermore, Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinion issued on Friday, concurrent with repealing Roe v. Wade, suggested ending gay marriage and other civil rights, Daily Mail wrote.
In February, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) reported that crime in West Hollywood had risen 137 percent compared to the same time last year.
February 2022 saw roughly 250 ‘Part One’ crimes reported, including murder, rape, burglary, aggravated assault, arson, and human trafficking.
There were 105 such incidents reported in February 2021, KTLA reports.
This number also marks the highest monthly total of crimes classified as ‘Part One’ since LASD began recording those statistics wrote Daily Mail.
West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station polices the City of West Hollywood and the unincorporated communities of Franklin Canyon, Universal City – which includes Universal Theme Park, Studios, and Citywalk – and the Federal Enclave in West Los Angeles.
Sepi Shyne proposed a plan defunding the local police there, saying the sheriffs cost too much – and the Block by Block program Shyne advocated represented more ‘bang for the buck,’ wrote Daily Mail
‘What we know now is our residents want foot patrols,’ said Shyne.
‘We need to be fiscally responsible.’
And we have all talked for two years. Reimagining policing means reallocating funding. You can’t just say it without actually doing it. Period.’
John D’Amico, another councilor who voted in favor of Shyne’s plan, emphasized that it will see more people patrolling the street, through the Block by Block plan, wrote the Daily Mail.
‘In my mind, this is an increase of safety services with 60 additional eyes on the street working directly with the residents and the sheriff and code compliance and our social services providers – and two fewer deputies this fall,’ he told Fox News in a statement.
Lauren Meister, Democratic mayor of West Hollywood and a member of the council who voted against the plan, called it illogical, noting that the Los Angeles enclave is afflicted by a rising tide of violence.
‘I’m not going to vote for the budget if we cut the sheriff’s (funds),’ Meister said, according to local news site WeHoville.com.
‘First of all, nobody has the gun problem that we have in this country. You can’t expect us to have a public safety team where most of the people aren’t armed in order to defend our citizens.’
Fellow councilman John M. Erickson voted with her to oppose the plan.
‘Community safety is our number one concern,’ he told Fox News.
‘When I’ve heard from countless residents about how they want to feel safer, that involves comprehensive planning and something that is not just drawn out over a decision.’
Now, the defunding proposal, which passed by a narrow three to two vote, will see the current force of around 60 sheriff’s deputies reduced by four.
Funds saved by reducing the headcount will be used to pay for unarmed ‘security ambassadors’ under the scheme called Block By Block.
The first two deputies will go in the fall.
Three more will depart over the year – but the headcount will only go down by four because an additional deputy will be added to the Entertainment Policing division.
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Residents are uneasy about the decision, WeHoville.com reported, saying that residents and business owners from all over the city have for the last few months expressed their deep concerns about cutting the sheriff’s budget in the midst of a crime wave, and at a time of general unease, the Daily Mail continued.
Despite slashing the policing budget, the council agreed to stump up funds for a Russian arts festival – increasing their contribution by $14,000 to $50,000.
The decision to defund the sheriffs comes only a week after Captain Bill Moulder was sworn in to head the West Hollywood office, Daily Mail wrote.
He has not commented on their Monday night vote.