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Questions for the City

July 14, 1991

The Times disclosed on June 30 that the Sheriff's Department owed the city of West Hollywood over 800 duty shifts and that deputies have been working thousands of overtime hours to make up the shortage. We are told a shortfall was caused by a lack of available officers and was discovered back in April. Clearly we are not receiving what we contracted and paid for!

This raises some serious and important questions about the management of the city. The residents of the east side were falsely told that additional patrols were added in answer to their pleas for more police protection. If the shortage was discovered in April, why wasn't it disclosed sooner? Were the facts purposely withheld from the public?

The City Council and the city manager receive monthly reports from the Sheriff's Department. How could such a shortage occur if they were truly watching the store? Has this happened in former years? If we are facing a fiscal crisis next year, why were the deputies allowed to work off all those hours in a short, less-than-productive time, rather than crediting the time against next year's budget?

There are too many questions not being answered by the city and apparently being swept under the rug. The public deserves some answers so that this unfortunate situation does not occur again and we receive the protection we are entitled to.

STAN LOTHRIDGE

West Hollywood

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