Wave Staff and Wire Reports
LOS ANGELES — Hollywood could soon see an increase in police presence after a motion introduced Aug. 3 by City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell that intends to address a recent increase in crime in the area.
O’Farrell, who represents Hollywood, is seeking to transfer $216,000 from his office to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood division to add additional officer shifts.
According to O’Farrell’s office, there has been a 75% increase in homicides and a 35.6% increase in shots fired so far this year compared to last year — while robbery has gone up by 19.4% and theft has jumped by 24.7%.
“If you plan to come to Hollywood to commit crime, you are not welcome,” O’Farrell said. “All Angelenos should feel safe where they live and work.”
“By bringing additional LAPD shifts to Hollywood, we are strengthening the holistic approach my office is taking to public safety — one that brings unarmed services to people in distress, while ensuring our LAPD officers have the necessary tools to effectively prevent and address crime.”
The demand for public safety has exceeded the available resources in Hollywood, according to the motion.
“Hollywood is as diverse, if not more, than any other part of the city itself, and having more resources concentrated in this area would be beneficial to ensuring public safety, particularly to the most vulnerable of society,” the motion says.
The motion is expected to come before the Public Safety Committee before moving on to the full council.
This latest effort to enhance public safety follows O’Farrell’s efforts to bring the CIRCLE program, the city’s first unarmed model of crisis response, to Hollywood, in addition to supporting a city budget that accounts for attrition rates within LAPD’s ranks.
“Public safety requires robust collaboration and an all-hands-on-deck approach,” said James Hegler, director of operations for the CIRCLE Program. “We’re proud of our successful working relationship with Councilmember O’Farrell and LAPD, which helps us bring unarmed services to Angelenos in need so that LAPD can focus their resources on actual crime.”
Blake Chow, deputy chief for the LAPD, said in a statement that people “need to feel safe when they’re in Hollywood.”
“We’re thankful to Councilmember O’Farrell for these additional resources and look forward to quickly putting them to use to prevent, deter and address crime,” Chow said.
“Public safety is an essential part of a thriving local economy,” said Kathleen Rawson, president and chief executive officer of the Hollywood Partnership. “As Hollywood emerges from the pandemic, having officers on the street and available to respond to calls is necessary for our businesses to safely keep their doors open and welcome visitors back to this iconic boulevard.”