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SunFest crime watch: Here's how you can stay safe at this year's music festival

Music fans can report crime using SaferWatch app
Posted at 11:10 PM, May 02, 2024

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It's officially SunFest season as thousands are expected to flock to downtown West Palm Beach to watch their favorite music acts.

"Who are you guys here to see?" asked WPTV reporter Joel Lopez.

"Shaggy, definitely Shaggy," partners Kyle Dickerson and Viola Madej said.

The duo came to South Florida from Atlanta to attend the event. Madej said she's been to SunFest before, but it will be Dickerson's first time attending the event.

"This is perfect. I love this," Dickerson said. "I could come here every year at this time as long as this is the weather."

SunFest 2024 headliners like Nelly, Cole Swindell and Third Eye Blind are expected to draw big crowds and possibly crime.

Kyle Dickerson and Viola Madej speak to WPTV reporter Joel Lopez about why they traveled from Georgia to attend SunFest.
Kyle Dickerson and Viola Madej speak to WPTV reporter Joel Lopez about why they traveled from Georgia to attend SunFest.

"There's going to be a big crowd here, but we want to make sure that it's safe, and we need your help to ensure that it's safe here for everyone that is going to be here," West Palm Beach Police Chief Frank Adderley said.

Adderley said the department will have its drones, officers on foot and bikes as well as a number of security at SunFest.

They are also utilizing the SaferWatch app to help report crime.

"We've all heard the saying, 'If you see something, say something,' this tool gives people the ability to actually say something and actually send something in," SaferWatch CEO Geno Roefaro said.

This is the second year in a row that SaferWatch will be working with West Palm Beach Police during SunFest.

Through the app, the public can report a variety of crimes.

West Palm Beach Police Chief Frank Adderley and SaferWatch CEO Geno Roefaro held a news conference in West Palm Beach on May 2, 2024.
West Palm Beach Police Chief Frank Adderley and SaferWatch CEO Geno Roefaro held a news conference in West Palm Beach on May 2, 2024.

One crime in particular is phone crimes which are no stranger to SunFest. A couple of women were accused of stealing cellphones during the event last year.

"Any way you can use technology, especially something everyone carries around, that's going to be beneficial," Dickerson said.

Police said last year they were able to confront phone thieves within minutes, retrieve the stolen phones and return them to their owners.

SaferWatch said most of the law enforcement agencies and schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have access to the app, along with 30 states.

They said SaferWatch has been involved in over 20,000 law enforcement investigations related to tips that have come through the platform.

If you don't have the app, you can text suspicious activity to (561) 878-TIPS (9477). You can include pictures, videos and audio messages and remain anonymous.