Hello Lieutenant Bill Moulder, thank you very much for your time.
Hello Larry, nice to have you here.
Let’s start with you. Where were you born, where did you grow up?
I was actually born here in Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley and spent my formative years in La Crescenta, near Glendale. That’s when I piqued my interest in joining the sheriff’s department. Many of my friends were interested in law enforcement. I’ve had friends who went to the LAPD, the Glendale Police Department, and the Sheriffs Dept. When I was 16, I drove for the first time in a police car at Center Valley Sheriff Station.
Where are you living now?
I live in Santa Clarita and have been in the Santa Clarita Valley for about 30 years – a long time.
How did you get to West Hollywood Station?
The LA County Sheriff’s Department requires you to be a custody before you go on patrol, so I worked as a custody. I then worked at Court Services, then at Patrol. I have served in Lancaster Sheriff’s Station and in Palmdale as well. I worked in both positions up there in training for about three years and then moved here to West Hollywood. I was here for about two months and then applied for a leave of absence. They refused the leave of absence, so I quit. I wanted to travel and went to Europe for seven months. When I came back and got my sheriff back job, I worked in worry for a short time and then returned to West Hollywood in 2002. It’s a long build. So in 2002 I was here as a deputy, I was a training officer and also a detective here and then moved to some other units. I was promoted and then came back here as a lieutenant in late 2018.
What is the difference between a captain, a lieutenant and a sergeant?
We’re all deputy sheriffs, but then we have different ranks within the deputy sheriffs. There is a “deputy sheriff generalist” who most patrol MPs are; then you can be a “bonus one” and or “bonus two” for which you receive additional payment, and you have additional responsibilities such as oversight or specialized units like murder or the Special Enforcement Bureau. A sergeant is the next step on the ladder. Sergeants are usually the supervisors in our department and oversee the deputy personnel. A lieutenant is considered a manager and more of a leadership role overseeing various parts of our operation here on the station. Then there is the captain, who has a leading position in our department. Captains and above are chosen by the sheriff himself and manage the stations.
We had a few public questions regarding the Ramirez interview, so let’s cover them first. What is the percentage of officers here at West Hollywood Station who are vaccinated?
I don’t know the exact percentage; However, all LA County employees will have a system that records everyone on their status whether they are vaccinated or not, or have a medical or other religious or other waiver. You can then also enter this information. The deadline for this, I believe, has just passed, so at some point the county will be able to figure out the percentage of vaccinated employees in Los Angeles County and in specific departments including the sheriff’s department.
Is there an hourly starting rate for deputy sheriffs and are there any options in the West Hollywood train station?
As for the department as a whole, right now, due to budget constraints and funding, I don’t believe we are hiring deputy sheriffs – in terms of new deputy sheriff trainees that we need to get through our academy.
I think the department is hiring career changers who are already trained and California peace officers who work for another agency. Starting Salary, I don’t have it in my head, but there is information on the website that states what the general starting salary of an assistant sheriff is.
Another question from the public concerned the rainbow logo on the side of the sheriff’s cars. Is this something that we have actively and can continue to maintain or is it an old program?
No, we still have it and we are actively maintaining it. We actually got a set of new vehicles not that long ago, so we had some new stickers made and put them on the vehicles. We are still in the process of fitting them all out, but they will all carry the rainbow.
Is there a general plan each day of how many alternates are on duty at any given time? How many officers are there and how are they distributed over the city?
We divide the day into three different shifts: an early overnight shift; the day shift during the day; and a PM shift from day to evening. We even have overlaps that are different hours in the day and early in the morning. But generally we have between seven sessions in the early morning to eight in the day and seven in the afternoon. We work 10 hour schedules which can overlap. It depends on the time of day – but we also have the COPS team, which consists of five deputies and usually works day shifts. And we also have the animation police team that is there in the evening until the early hours of the morning. They take care of all the bars, clubs and restaurants and there are four alternates on this team. During the day we have additional staff here – our entire detective office is here on weekdays. So we have 10 to 12 detectives and a few sergeants, then additional staff like me and our operations people who work at desks. All sworn individuals.
With this occupation of three shifts, does one of these shifts end at 2 a.m. or at midnight? Because in the middle of the rush hour there is a change in the deputies. I’m curious to see when the night shift ends?
So we have a shift that starts at 4 p.m. and then that’s our afternoon shift, then our morning shift starts at 8 p.m. and they go 10 hours, so 4 a.m. I’m a little slow at math, but when it’s 2 a.m. so yeah then they end. But then you have the early hours of the morning from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.
When they are free at 2am and there is all this activity in town, are they often scheduled or do they work overtime and stay later to patrol?
If we sometimes need additional people, then yes, we hold onto them. We hold on to the people on the PM shift to take care of various things that we need to take care of – if there is a critical incident or something similar. But usually we have the early shift and then we have the entertainment police team and they are off at 4am So we always have extra people here late into the night and into the wee hours of the morning.
What is the total area of the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station?
The West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station is responsible for patrolling the City of West Hollywood and the unincorporated area of Los Angeles Counties – Universal, Franklin Canyon, and the Federal Enclave.
I think we’ll end this section with one final question: where is the pain in your job?
The pain in my job – I don’t know if there is necessarily pain in my job. I think there are challenges we have. Captain Ramirez mentioned in your conversation with him that probably the most difficult topic to solve is the issue of the homeless and that is an umbrella because there are people who have problems on the street and who are on the street and need them Help and they need help, then there are people with mental health problems, there are people with substance use disorders, and then some of them overlap. And then there is a section under it all that we have people who are not housed on the street who are committing the crimes and the quality of life issues that you know from your reporting and that we hear from the community. And that’s a difficult problem to solve because it takes more than law enforcement to address it. The city of West Hollywood is fantastic. They have always been leaders and always progressive in the way they deal with such issues. And they have a wonderful social department with a lot of great people. There are great contracts they have made with the Tarzana Treatment Center step up to second and other organizations to help those in need and those in need in our community. And the City of West Hollywood is also the pioneer that it is that you probably know. It’s a MP with nearly 1,000 additional hours of mental health training and a clinician from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, and they’re a team, they wear “soft” clothes, not uniform clothes. You sit in a white SUV, go out and do a wonderful job. So all of these different things the city and the sheriff have been doing to address this issue, but it is certainly a bigger problem than we are, and it is going to take some additional steps with the state government to help us with any legislative changes that may help them People who are on the street
So you said we’re the only city in the contract cities that has a MET team?
he Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department launched the MET program in the early 1990s, and it is generally a nationwide program. The MET team could be in Pico Rivera, however, and the Palmdale deputies need the MET team to respond. But that’s quite a long journey, a fair amount of time, and things can change pretty quickly in that long time. We have expanded this program, but of course the finances limit additional substitutes and clinicians for this program.
However, the City of West Hollywood has paid a dedicated 40-hour team that is here during the week and only works for West Hollywood. You did an incredible job. I think you may have seen some of the updates from previous Public Safety Commission and City Council meetings about their work