45th Street Flea Market crime addressed by West Palm Beach

Mayor says plan in place

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Recent violence at the 45th Street Flea Market in West Palm Beach has prompted a response by mayor Jeri Muoio.

One person was killed in a shooting on September 28th. About a month earlier one person was seriously hurt when two men became involved in an argument and shots were fired.

Police made arrests in both cases.

"After this latest incident, we are all frustrated and upset. I asked for a meeting involving several parties, including police and code enforcement.  They have met this past week, and they have a plan to deal with it," Mayor Muoio said in a statement posted on the city's website.

The city did not reveal details of the plan but Elliot Cohen, a spokesperson for the City of West Palm Beach, said it was comprehensive.

"It's not just a crime problem. It's a code enforcement issue. It's a quality of life issue," Cohen said. "It's really not a question of flooding it with police officers, it's a question of getting to what the root of problems are there and, then, addressing it that way."

Virginia Grant, the president of the Echo Lakes Association of Neighborhoods, said the action was overdue.

"There is an element of fear because of what some of these people might be capable of," Grant said. "We're not the only community who has faced this but it is a reality."

Cohen said aspects of the plan would be rolled out this week.

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