Two security ambassadors in West Hollywood have come under scrutiny after video posted to social media appears to show them engaging in intimate behavior with two women while they were in their uniforms.
In the video, posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, by the WeHo Times, shows the uniformed security ambassadors kissing and flirting with two women near the intersection of Santa Monica Boulevard and La Jolla Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. Saturday.
The city of West Hollywood partners with Block by Block on its Security Ambassador Program.
Raquel Vaca, a resident of West Hollywood, told KTLA that the footage is frustrating because it reinforces his belief that the security ambassador program is ineffective.
“Sometimes, just as women walking on the street, we hope to look to authority to protect us from someone cat calling, from strangers, so it’s like who do we rely on, who do we depend on at this point,” she said.
According to the WeHo Times, a local resident who wanted to remain anonymous captured the flirtatious interactions on their cellphone camera and shared the footage over similar concerns.
The footage of the two Block by Block Security Ambassadors comes on the heels of several violent armed robberies in recent months. In July, three armed suspects, two with handguns and another carrying a rifle, robbed a man in the 800 block of Larrabee Street, just a few hundred feet from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s WeHo Station.
In April, four suspects, one armed with an AK-47, robbed at least three people outside La Boheme restaurant near Santa Monica Boulevard and Orlando Avenue. All four were later arrested. Last week, yet another robbery occurred after two armed assailants held up two people outside the celebrity hotspot restaurant Craig’s, on Melrose Avenue near Robertson Boulevard.
The Block by Block Security Ambassadors are unarmed. They wear blue uniforms and help provide safe passage to residents at night. They also act as eyes and ears for law enforcement. It’s unclear if the ambassadors seen in the video were on-duty or were on break at the time of recording.
The Block by Block program issued a statement saying in part that the incident is under investigation and adding:
“Block by Block Ambassadors are expected to always conduct themselves in a professional manner. All investigations are handled internally, this incident is being investigated by our on-site management and will be addressed accordingly through our company policy.”
While some residents are critical of the Block by Block program, others say they are happy with it, but would like to see better behavior.
“There should be some training going on to say, ‘This is what’s proper, this is what’s not,” a West Hollywood resident identified only as Gary, told KTLA.
Last May, the West Hollywood City Council voted to add two sworn deputies to their ranks and two unarmed sheriff staff members. The move was criticized by some residents because the council reduced the number of law enforcement officers by two deputies just a year earlier.