Short answer: Over $17 million or 15% of the 2016 operating budget, which is less per resident than some nearby cities but 90th percentile statewide

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West Hollywood contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to police the city. The policing budget is over $17 million for the current fiscal year. That’s about 15% of the City’s operating budget and the bulk of the money the City spends on public safety. The City believes that contracting with the Sheriff has been a lower-cost way to provide policing.

The budget includes $1.4 million for a team that works around the bars and clubs at night and $0.8 million for special events. The allocation for the City’s security ambassadors, who are not police officers, is separate.

Note: We estimated the amount budgeted for policing in 2016 as $17.6 million. The $17.8 million budget for Police & Protective Services appeared to be mostly policing ($16.9 million of it was for items that were explicitly labeled “Police”). We included everything in our estimate except the “Fire Contract Expansion” item. Sources: City of West Hollywood, budget.weho.org, accessed on March 30, 2016; our analysis.


Spending on policing over time

The chart below shows the amount spent on “Police & Protective Services” over time. Most of this money is for policing. The budget has grown 16% over five years. The trend in actual spending is less clear, because the full budget wasn’t spent in four recent years. You can see the numbers by hovering over or touching each column.

Sources: City of West Hollywood, annual budget documents. Note: There are small differences among budget documents in the reported actuals for some years.


Spending on policing compared to other cities

An independent analyst, Michael Coleman, estimated police spending per resident for each California city, using data from the State. West Hollywood spent an estimated $433 per resident on policing in 2014. That was about the average for Los Angeles County, but lower than some nearby cities.

Based on his estimates, Beverly Hills spent at least twice as much per resident. Santa Monica and Culver City both spent roughly 70% more. The estimate for Los Angeles was also higher, though that number puzzles us. Burbank spent about the same amount per resident as West Hollywood, while Glendale and Pasadena spent about 15% less.

West Hollywood’s spending was significantly higher than the state average of $294. That put West Hollywood in the 90th percentile among California’s 482 cities and towns.

Notes: These estimates came from the website of an independent analyst, who calculated them using data from the State Controller’s Office and Department of Finance. We checked a few of the numbers against published city budgets, and they don’t necessarily match. We marked Los Angeles and Beverly Hills with an asterisk (*) because the differences for them appeared to be quite large. We marked the county average because it was heavily influenced by the estimate for Los Angeles. The county and state averages were calculated as total spending divided by total population. Sources: Michael Coleman, CaliforniaCityFinance.com, “Police14p” spreadsheet, downloaded March, 2016; our analysis (for the county average based on his city estimates).


http://wehobythenumbers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/wehoville-201603-policing.jpghttp://wehobythenumbers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/wehoville-201603-policing-300x300.jpgDavid WarrenBudgetPerformance (effort)Public safetybeverly hills,burbank,california,culver city,glendale,los angeles,los angeles county,pasadena,santa monica
Short answer: Over $17 million or 15% of the 2016 operating budget, which is less per resident than some nearby cities but 90th percentile statewide| West Hollywood contracts with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to police the city. The policing budget is over $17 million for the current...