Lake Worth residents petition seeks city's help

Posted at 10:24 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 23:41:19-05

Residents in Lake Worth neighborhoods say unlit streets and dark corners are a playground for criminal activity. Residents have started up a petition asking the city to increase lighting in neighborhoods and increase deputy patrols.

More than 70 people living in Lake Worth have signed the petition on They say a lack of lighting in their neighborhoods is a creating a breeding ground for prostitution and drug abuse.

There are days when one Lake Worth resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, says she dreads getting in and out of neighborhood.

"I've parked my car and a prostitute was walking by and thinking I was going to be her next, you know next customer," she said.

She says dark streets are attracting criminal activity in Lake Worth neighborhoods.

"We see prostitution, we see drug use, we see you know drugs being sold," she added.

It's a problem several residents say they've reported to police.

"We were calling almost every single day for a little while," she said.

It  stops and starts back up, that's why this resident has created a petition on asking for the city to make changes.

"Help is on the way," said Michael Bornstein, city manager for Lake Worth.

Bornstein says starting this spring the city is installing new LED lights to replace the old fixtures.

"We've also identified some money as part of the project to replace lights that were knocked out in the storms and some of the areas where the sheriff's office is helping us say this is a dark spot," added Bornstein

Lake Worth residents say more patrols would help too. The city says there are no plans to contract more deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office right now, but it is working with current deputies to target problem areas.

"They're arresting these ladies they're taking them off the streets, but they cycle right back in a day or so and they are on the street again," said Bornstein.

Lake Worth residents hope more people will report criminal activity when they see it.

"It's like everybody needs to call in and do the same thing when they are having the issue," said the creator of the petition.

The city manager says more residents should also get involved with their city council members.