- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2022

A city in Los Angeles County has reportedly voted to slash law enforcement funding despite concerns about rising crime.

The West Hollywood City Council voted 3-2 to approve a budget that could leave the city with five fewer county sheriff’s deputies on patrol, with Mayor Lauren Meister and a councilman dissenting, according to Fox News.

“Most of the residents and businesses I have heard from are opposed to cutting the sheriff’s budget,” Ms. Meister told Fox. “They are outraged that people and organizations from outside our city are dictating to council how to run our city. The narrative that we can have ‘either sheriff’s or social services,’ or ‘either sheriff’s or unarmed security teams’ is false.”

The council weighed in during a nationwide debate about whether to “defund the police” and invest in social services instead. The idea is largely cheered by progressives, while centrist Democrats and Republicans tend to say the idea will backfire and make communities less safe.

Some council members in West Hollywood said public safety isn’t solely the purview of people with badges and guns and promoted security ambassadors who supplement police.

The report said two deputies will be withdrawn by the fall and three more could go away after a review period.

Fox reported that some businesses and residents opposed the budget cut because of an increase in crimes that include murder, rape, burglary, aggravated assault and arson.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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