West Hollywood : Council OKs Addition of 37 Deputies
The City Council has approved the addition of 37 deputies in the Sheriff’s Department in West Hollywood, bringing the total to 136.
At $7.3 million, West Hollywood pays more than any of the other 35 cities that contract with Los Angeles County for sheriff’s services, according to James Cook, commander of the West Hollywood sheriff’s station.
Eighteen of the new deputies will be used for traffic enforcement. They will replace officers from the California Highway Patrol, which plans to discontinue service in West Hollywood on July 1.
The most visible change in the police force will be 12-hour-a-day foot patrols on Santa Monica and Sunset boulevards.
The City Council voted to increase the sheriff’s force after a public hearing last week. More than a dozen speakers told the council that they are happy with the sheriff’s services and the plan to enlarge the department. Two men disagreed, saying that the plan put too much emphasis on reduction of “victimless” crimes such as prostitution.
Cook argued that prostitution suppression helps prevent other crimes such as robbery, assault and murder. Council members said they agreed with Cook and refused to reduce staffing for the special-problems unit, which will concentrate on eliminating street prostitution.