WESTCHESTER -Councilmember Mike Bonin has hired a private security firm to guard his office in Westchester. According to multiple sources, GSG Protective Services of Culver City has been employed since January to protect Bonin's office five days a week.
Debra Huston, a nearby resident, said she walked to Bonin's office on Wednesday after learning about the private security. "The front door was locked when I arrived. After getting the security guard's attention, I asked why there was security. He [the security guard] said it was because of the homeless. I wasn't sure I heard him right– so I asked again. He reiterated and motioned to the homeless encampments outside Bonin's office door."
Huston, a community activist who worked to remove the encampments from Westchester Park last year–and still has been working on getting the senior center open and ball fields cleaned up, said she plans to insist on security for all facilities, including the senior center and the ball fields.
"Bonin wants security for himself and staff, but he has ignored our pleas for the last year to provide security for the children who want to engage in sports in the park or for the seniors who want to go to the senior center."
"He knows there is a danger and it's obvious that's why he has security for himself. What about the children and the seniors?"
Wednesday's discovery came a day after Bonin voted against a motion at the City Council to ban homeless encampments within 500 feet of schools. Huston said that kids at Westchester Park are suffering from multiple "scary" situations like kids in our school. "I know of at least two children who have been physically attacked in the bathroom by a homeless person," stated Huston.
The Current also learned Wednesday that Bonin might be looking at providing security at Centennial Park instead of using the Los Angeles Police Department.
We reached out to Bonin's office for comment and asked how much the security firm is costing taxpayers and how they are being paid. We did not hear back in time for this report.