WEHOville

Lt. David Smith Suspended from West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station

Wed, Jun 07, 2017   By Staff    9 Comments

Lt. David Smith, a 30-year veteran of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, has been suspended with pay from his position.

In recent years Smith, known as Smitty, has effectively served as the station’s public liaison, attending meetings of the WeHo City Council and Public Safety Commission and fielding inquiries from local news reporters. For that reason and his morning runs through West Hollywood, he has become one of the better known members of the local sheriff’s staff. He has reported directly to the captain who runs the Sheriff’s Station

Lt. David Smith

To date WEHOville has been unable to learn why Smith was removed from his job. That removal was announced privately to the West Hollywood City Council on Monday. A source at the local station confirmed this afternoon that this is a temporary suspension while an investigation about an unknown issue is being conducted and that Smith has not been fired. WEHOville has been unable to contact Smith for a comment.

Smith’s departure comes at a difficult time for the Sheriff’s Station, given that he was one of the leaders in its effort to coordinate with the Los Angeles Police Department to provide security for this weekend’s LA Pride event and the Resist March. Both events are projected to attract hundreds of thousands of people to West Hollywood and Hollywood. Given recent terrorist attacks in crowded places in Europe, many residents are concerned about what measures are being taken to make them safe.

Capt. Sergio Aloma, who heads the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station, said he is confident that his team will be able to keep the events safe. “We have a lot of experience at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station with Pride,” Aloma said. He noted that the Sheriff’s Department is working together with the L.A. County Department, the Sheriff’s Department’s Emergency Operations Bureau and the city’s Public Safety Department.

Smith, 58, was raised in Atwater Village and is the father of five children. After training at the Sheriff’s Academy and work in the county jail system, he took a position at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station in 1985. He was reassigned in 1996 to the Lynnwood jail but returned to WeHo a year later. Among his many roles has been working with the team focused on crime on the Sunset Strip and working with the Community Oriented Policing (COPS) program, which works with local residents and community groups on issues in their neighborhoods. Smith was promoted to lieutenant in 2004. It is not clear who will take over Smith’s role as overseer of the COPs program and Entertainment Policing Team, which patrols the city’s nightlife areas.

Smith missed out on two opportunities to serve as captain, running the West Hollywood Station. When Capt. Gary Honings took early retirement in 2015, he was replaced by Capt. (now Commander) Holly Perez. Perez was promoted to the commander position after only 13 months in West Hollywood and was replaced by Sergio Aloma.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An earlier version of this story reported that it was unclear whether Lt. David Smith has been suspended from his position at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station or was fired. WEHOville has learned that Smith is suspended with pay while an investigation is taking place on an undisclosed matter.<

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9 Comments

  1. Don BeckMon, Jun 19, 2017 at 11:15 am

    He was always a great supporter of the LASD Reserve Program. A cops
    Cop and a gentleman. Hope this gets resolved soon

  2. taiestebanTue, Jun 13, 2017 at 8:35 am

    I’ve come to know Lt. Smith in recent years, working on public safety measures to protect the community against hate crimes. Lt. Smith knows be my name and that goes a long way for me.

    Like everyone else, I don’t have the details. But I know a gentleman when I see one.

  3. EmmikMon, Jun 12, 2017 at 9:11 pm

    I know my dear friend lutenant smithy. He’s my friend and my hero.smithy is
    On call 24/7. I know him so so many yrs. I love you my brother and I miss you so much.

  4. Barbara HamakerFri, Jun 09, 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Yes, I’ve known Lt. Smith for longer than I can remember. He and Jimmy Farrell worked together on the Eastside Cops Team in the 1990s when we worked on the Redevelopment projects. We all come to our “bumps in the road”–but most of us get to deal with them privately, but public service is a difficult and sometimes treacherous path with boulders and potholes. Ditto to the other comments–Smitty is a great guy and a good friend.

  5. carleton croninFri, Jun 09, 2017 at 8:21 am

    Long time pal. A-one cop. Holding my breath….

  6. Shawn HoffmanThu, Jun 08, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    This is horrible news.

  7. KyleThu, Jun 08, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    Well, I don’t get responses from Smith or anyone at the department. Captain Perez did engage briefly once.

  8. Tom SmartThu, Jun 08, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I can’t imagine. He’s a very honorable man. Clash with new leadership?

  9. Larry BlockThu, Jun 08, 2017 at 1:37 am

    All I know is that when I have an issue Smitty is a text away. He will text you back on duty, off duty, from his kids baseball game or on vacation. Thanks for your service and hope to see you back soon at our favorite places —breakfast at astro burger, or lunch at greenwich village.

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