The City of West Hollywood is home to a large number of entertainment-oriented businesses, such as restaurants, lounges, bars, and nightclubs; there are more than 200 establishments in the City. Reopening after pandemic-related restrictions has been an encouraging step in moving forward, but it has also brought into focus new concerns at nightlife establishments.
There has been recent media coverage of claims of individuals feeling that they have been drugged (“roofied”) at West Hollywood entertainment venues and two individuals have filed reports with the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station. The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station Detective Bureau is investigating one case and the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the other case.
Public safety is always the City of West Hollywood’s number-one priority and the City takes these claims seriously. The City and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station urge anyone who believes they are a victim of any crime – or anyone in the community with any public safety concerns – to reach out to the Sheriff’s Station 24/7 at (310) 855-8850. In an emergency, always call 911.
The City of West Hollywood has several initiatives in place to assist in creating and maintaining a safe environment in nightlife establishments:
The City’s Public Safety Department has developed a training manual “Best Safety Practices for Nightlife Establishments,” which is used as a training tool for owners and managers of bars, lounges, and clubs. It is available on the City’s website at www.weho.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=32877. This manual serves as a guide for the City’s nightlife establishment owners and managers in maintaining safe bars, lounges, and clubs, and keeping them free from illegal activity including drug sales, underage drinking, overconsumption of alcohol, violence, prostitution, sex offenses, terrorism, and more.
The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station’s Entertainment Policing Team (EPT) is a team of Sheriff’s Deputies who are primarily focused on entertainment- and alcohol-related law enforcement issues in the City. On a nightly basis, the EPT actively patrols approximately 60 bars, nightclubs, and hotels and liaises with management of nightlife establishments to build and maintain cooperative working relationships and to stay informed and address concerns. At present, to respond to an uptick in community concerns, the EPT has been engaging with venues about reports filed regarding allegations of drugging. The EPT and the Sheriff’s COPPS (Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving) team will increase patrols and “plain-clothes” operations at bars, lounges, and clubs throughout the City of West Hollywood.
While the City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety Department provides oversight of Sheriff’s law enforcement and community programs to reduce crime and increase public safety, the City’s Code Compliance Division works to maintain the City’s unique urban balance with an emphasis on neighborhood livability. The Code Enforcement team is responsible for enforcing all provisions of the City’s laws and ordinances, as governed by the West Hollywood Municipal Code, and it works to respond to issues and concerns from the community. The Code Compliance Division is currently reviewing opportunities to expand alcohol-server training programs for personnel in the City’s bars, lounges, and clubs. Formerly an opt-in program provided by the City, new state law for ‘Responsible Beverage Service’ (RBS) requirements will take effect in 2022 making trainings compulsory. The City will work with bars, lounges, and clubs to develop a mandatory program that aims to curb harm related to overuse of alcohol, and it will develop a related education campaign to promote customer awareness, safety, and security in bars, lounges, and clubs.
The City of West Hollywood works every day to raise awareness about social responsibility and alcohol with an effort called Imbibe Intelligently, which promotes safety tips and messages regarding alcohol consumption within the community and for visitors enjoying nightlife. Tips to Imbibe Intelligently are provided on the City’s website at www.weho.org/socialresponsibility and tips are provided in outdoor media in the community and in the City’s social media @wehocity.
For additional information about the City of West Hollywood’s Public Safety programs and initiatives, download “Public Safety in the City of West Hollywood” at www.weho.org/home/showdocument?id=42465 or visit the City’s Public Safety Department website area at www.weho.org/publicsafety.
For more information, please contact City of West Hollywood Public Safety Director Kristin Cook at (323) 848-6414 or email@example.com or Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood Station Lieutenant William (Bill) Moulder at (310) 855-8850 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For Code Compliance and Enforcement information, please contact City of West Hollywood Code Compliance Manager Danny Rivas at (323) 848-6424 or email@example.com. For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496.
The City of West Hollywood remains in a declared local emergency in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. West Hollywood City Hall is open for in-person transactions by appointment; to make an appointment, visit www.weho.org/appointments. City Hall services remain accessible by phone at (323) 848-6400 and via the City’s website at www.weho.org. City of West Hollywood coronavirus information is available at www.weho.org/coronavirus.
For up-to-date news and events, follow the City of West Hollywood on social media @WeHoCity, sign up for news updates at www.weho.org/email, and visit the City’s calendar of meetings and events at www.weho.org/calendar.
For reporters and members of the media seeking additional information about the City of West Hollywood, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Public Information Officer, Sheri A. Lunn, at (323) 848-6391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.