Probe of Conduct by Deputies OKd

A new Public Safety Commission to hear allegations of abuse by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies has been approved by the West Hollywood City Council.

On Tuesday, the five-member council adopted an ordinance empowering the panel to hear complaints and make policy recommendations concerning law enforcement and other public safety issues. Five commissioners will be appointed by council members and officials expect the panel to begin meeting by the end of the year.

The action was a victory for councilmen Steve Schulte and Paul Koretz, who said some changes were aimed at making the Sheriff's Department more accountable to gays and other groups.

The Sheriff's Department provides police protection to West Hollywood--where an estimated 35% of the 37,000 residents are gay--under an $8.6-million annual contract that expires next year.

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