WeHo Sheriff’s Station Launches Major Effort to Combat Nightlife Crime

The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station has launched a major effort to deal with complaints about crime in the city’s nightlife areas. Lt. David Smith said the Sheriff’s Station has formed a team of one supervisor and three deputies who will walk the streets in the Boystown area on the city’s Westside and in the area on the Eastside near the Gateway shopping complex.

Kirk Doffing
Kirk Doffing

The foot patrols in the Boystown, area, which includes most of the city’s gay nightlife establishments, will take place from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. on every night but Wednesday. The area covered by the deputies will run along Santa Monica Boulevard from Hancock to La Peer and include Robertson Boulevard, which is home to gay establishments such as The Abbey and Here Lounge.

The foot patrols on the Eastside, conducted one night a week, will cover La Brea Avenue to Fountain and also Santa Monica Boulevard to Poinsettia Place on the west and Romaine Street on the north.

The increase in nighttime patrols is a response to a number of recent attacks on employees of or patrons of the city’s Boystown bars and nightclubs. The most controversial of those attacks occurred on Memorial Day weekend when Kirk Doffing, a West Hollywood resident, was assaulted after an apparent confrontation at Rage, a gay bar on Santa Monica Boulevard and San Vicente. Doffing was punched several times and fell to the ground, fracturing his skull, which left him in a medically induced coma for several weeks. The attack on Doffing prompted dozens of residents and friends of Doffing to appear before the city’s Public Safety Commission and the City Council to demand that it act to improve safety in the area. The Sheriff’s station released an image of Doffing’s alleged assailant yesterday and deputies are walking the streets to distribute copies of it, Smith said.

Sketch of possible assailant of Kirk Doffing
Sketch of possible assailant of Kirk Doffing

Another attack occurred in the early hours of Monday morning when Jose Segovia, a model and go go dancer who also is known as Joe Sego, was assaulted on Santa Monica Boulevard near Rage. Segovia didn’t report the assault, allegedly by several African-American men, until several days after it occurred.

Mayor Lindsey Horvath and other City Council members have raised concerns privately with Capt. Gary Honings, who heads the local Sheriff’s Station, and City Manager Paul Arevalo, about the incidents.

Smith said the increased patrols will be funded with a small increase in the city’s 2015-16 fiscal year budget for public safety services, for which it contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Station continues to maintain an entertainment policing team which involved deputies in patrol cars patrolling all nightlife areas. “Their focus is to work with the businesses, know all the managers, spot trends in crime,” Smith said.

Smith said that while the station has been criticized because some deputies return to the station at 2 a.m., the hour when bars close, to complete paperwork at the end of their shifts, in fact the West Hollywood station also has an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift.

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Larry Block
Larry Block
5 years ago

Good News going forward but many victims too late.. it took Mayor Lindsey Horvath going on the beat with the sheriffs 2 weeks ago, thursday friday saturday and sunday nights from 10-2am, and 12-4am to see the chaos that goes on after the bars close. Many of the businesses have been talking about this for years but have gotten no response. Finally somebody woke up.

Please join Mayor Horvath, Capt Honings, Lt. Smith Saturday, July 11, @ 10am at the council chambers for “Coffee with the Captain” and bring your questions and concerns.

Chris Sanger
Chris Sanger
5 years ago

Thx to WEHOville for giving these incidents attention.

People need to read the coverage carefully, and it is critical that we understand what happened in each before jumping to conclusions. Is there an increase in gay bashing? Not clear. Is there an alcohol and bar closing time gay on gay fighting problem? Are we sure outsiders are the culprits?

Increased surveillance clearly is appropriate. But comments here (on multiple threads) show a lot of jumping to conclusions that might not be justified by facts and get in the way of combating this.

Wesley McDowell
Wesley McDowell
5 years ago

No Alison, not at all. Do wonder though what is special about Wed on the east side. Maybe if the deputies got out of their cars and used the 3-wheelers the department has and uses on Halloween they could cover more territory and see more than the do in their cars. Of course, this won’t give them the thrill of acceleration they get when they roar down the street in their cars.

Alison
Alison
5 years ago

Wesley, do you really want to deprive the east side from getting patrolled the one day they are giving it?

Jimmy Palmieri
5 years ago

Why did it take so many victims before this was done? Perhaps Lt. Smith, who knows this area and most of the public, should have been made captain. This current captain is simply not a fit. I’ve been here a long time. I know when the community is getting hot. Right now, gay men are steaming over these attacks.

Wesley McDowell
Wesley McDowell
5 years ago

Well it’s certainly about time! And definitely needed. What’s different about Wednesday? Do we want to make it so all the muggings will happen on the same night?