Watch: Unarmed ‘Security Ambassadors’ Can Only Watch as Violence Erupts on Street – Sheriff Funding Was Cut for This

Last summer, the city of West Hollywood, California, cut back funding for sheriff’s patrols to increase what it calls “security ambassadors,” who would prowl the streets in a new form of policing. “They’re able to de-escalate situations without any violence, without any issues. This works. It’s proven successful,” West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tem Shepi Shyne said at the time, according to CBS. The program was first established in the city 10 years ago, according to a news release on the city website dated June 24, 2013, which stated: “The Block by Block security ambassadors assist the Sheriff’s department with identifying and addressing a wide variety of quality-of-life issues.” But new video shows a less rosy picture of what security ambassadors are able to do in West Hollywood, an incorporated area of Los Angeles County with Hollywood to its east and Beverly Hills to its west — and politics as liberal as Americans might expect in that neighborhood. According to KABC-TV in Los Angeles, West Hollywood resident Ethan Reynolds happened to be strolling on Santa Monica Boulevard in mid-April when he saw a violent incident erupt. “There was this man kicking his vehicle and I turned my head and I saw the Block-by-Block officers,” Reynolds said in a video clip that was posted to Twitter by conservative social media commentator Collin Rugg. “I was flabbergasted because they walked right past like nothing.” The footage shows a white sedan stopped by a crosswalk. One man comes over and kicks at the driver’s door. The driver opens the door and the two scuffle. As they fight, the two security ambassadors watch. The only action taken occurred when one spoke into a walkie-talkie. The KABC report is below:
“I was like ‘Oh, this doesn’t look too good,” Reynolds said, according to CBS. “If the Block by Block Ambassadors are not empowered to mitigate situations like this, which do seem to occur often in West Hollywood, truly it does give us a false sense of security and I think that’s extremely frustrating as a resident,” said Reynolds. “If it’s just a secondary step for providing true intervention, I just don’t see the point,” he said. Resident Eddie Aguglia vented his frustration at the spectacle. “Whatever policy is in place that made them react the way they reacted has to be changed,” he told CBS. In June, when West Hollywood shifted funds away from paying the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for patrols, Shyne said the change was overdue, according to Fox News. “We have all talked for two years about re-imagining policing and reimagining policing means reallocating funding and that’s exactly what that means – you can’t just say it without actually doing it. Period,”   Shyne said. The program has a “direct positive impact on safety and neighborhood livability,” according to the city’s website. The program “provides a highly visible uniformed presence at the street level. Block by Block Security Ambassadors are deployed on bicycles along major streets, alleys, City parking lots, and residential neighborhoods.” The website notes that in an emergency, the Sheriff’s Department is to be called. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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