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Tipsheet

Surprise! West Hollywood's 'Security Ambassadors' Aren't Going as Planned

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The city of West Hollywood cut funding for four Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies to patrol in the area and replaced them with unarmed "security ambassadors." New video taken inside the city shows an assault taking place mere feet away from security ambassadors, who do not take action to step in.

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The incident occurred last week at the intersection of Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards, outside the Los Angeles County sheriff's West Hollywood station, according to KABC. The footage shows a man a white sedan stopped in a crosswalk. A man kicks the car before the driver opens the door and gets out of the car where the two men fight as security ambassadors watch from the sidewalk.

KABC reports only one sheriff deputy position has been cut so far. 

"There's a learning curve," West Hollywood resident Ethan Reynolds, who recorded the video, told ABC7. "We've all learned, in the past couple of years. But having a police officer around makes me feel safer — I know not everyone feels that way."

In the aftermath of a robbery where three victims had their personal items stolen by suspects armed with a rifle and handguns, West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyn defended the security ambassadors program, saying crime is being solved.

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"It's worked, because crime has gone down," Shyn told ABC7. "Priority for us is safety and we are safer than we have been in the past."

"Crime is going to happen," she added. "It's a sad state of the country right now, especially with the lack of gun control and guns rampant everywhere, but we prioritize safety so our city is safe and I want people to know that."

While robberies in West Hollywood is lower compared to previous years, it did increase after the defund the police movement gained steam in 2020 and the number of robberies is still higher than the 13-year average of 117.

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