I would love to see West Hollywood on the list of the Safest Cities in America. It can happen.
There is no reason it shouldn't.
West Hollywood has more than enough money to do the following things which would help our City become a "Safe City":
We need to tear down and build a new Sheriff's station on the corner of SMB and SVB. This should have been done years ago. I have heard for years from people who work there that the facility is inadequate.
We need to have a Sheriff sub-station on the Eastside. On or near the corner of SMB and LBA. I don't care what the over-paid Director of Public Safety says. She is wrong! It is not correct that putting one more deputy on Patrol would be more effective than a conspicuous sub-station at the east gateway to west Hollywood. That is her own personal opinion with no evidence to support it. People with ideas of coming into West Hollywood for criminal reasons will think twice when the first thing they see is a Sheriff sub-station. It doesn't have to be elaborate, just enough space to hold the accused until they can be transported to the main station. A substation on the eastside would make it easier for Residents to file complaints rather than having to go to the station on SMB and SVB.
We need to have a foot patrol of Deputies on the major streets. Cities like Reno, Nevada does it and it proven to bring crime rates down.
We need to increase our Deputy Patrol by 25%. We need to hire more Deputies. We need to increase the budget for The West Hollywood Sheriff's Department.
We need to make sure that Deputies complete adequate sensitivity training and "use of force continuum" or "escalation of force (EOF)" training. West Hollywood is a unique Community with a variety of cultures and diversity so our Deputies should be trained to handle situations which are different from other communities.
We need to start enforcing the sidewalk laws. Start writing tickets for bikes, skateboards and scooters on the sidewalks. There should be a unit of the Sheriff's Department dedicated to just that. They should also confiscate scooters left on public property and a fee should be charged to get them back.
We need to put more public cameras up and signage warning people. It took the City Manager and the Director of Public Safety two years to begin installing the few cameras approved by City Council. No more delays when it come to public safety. Imagine if they had done their jobs, as directed by City Council to install cameras two years ago how many people would have not been injured or killed.
We need a total overhaul of the crosswalk situation. There is no consistency. Every crosswalk is different. The drivers are confused and the pedestrians are confused.
We need either lights or speed "knobs" imbedded in the pavement starting at 100 feet away from a crosswalk.
We need to start parking "dummy" Patrol cars at various locations and rotate them. A City this Size should have at least 6. When someone is killed, the Sheriff's Department parks a car in the area for about a week and then gets rid of it.
We need a "Special Task Force" of younger looking undercover Deputies to infiltrate the drug culture in West Hollywood, identify the sources, make plea deals with those who will identify the sources.
We need seminars on a regular basis to educate the Residents about their role in preventing crime.
We need to ask for the resignation of the Director of Public Safety and hire someone who lives in West Hollywood and Cares about it's Residents and has a proven record of addressing the public safety needs of Residents.
West Hollywood has all the money it needs to protect it's Residents if we would take a look at the budget and cut wasteful and non-productive spending.
We either care about the safety of our Residents or we don't.
At this point, the City of West Hollywood has to make the decision to make the changes to protect the Residents or continue the history of apathy.
Eric Jon Schmidt
Accountability, Integrity, Transparency
Copyright © 2018 Eric Jon Schmidt for West Hollywood City Council - All Rights Reserved.