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West Palm Beach police get ahead of summer crime

wptv wpbpd community  engagement
wptv wpbpd community march
Posted at 9:11 PM, Jun 20, 2019

In South Florida, crimes tend to rise with the thermometer. In an effort to get ahead of it, West Palm Beach Police are again focusing on community engagement.

According to Chief Frank Adderley, regardless of where crimes are happening partnering with the community is a step in the right direction.

This marks the third summer members of the West Palm Beach Police Department – teamed with the Mayor’s Office - canvassing troubled neighborhoods – through the city program Peace in the Streets.

“This is about building relationships between law enforcement and the community,” said Kevin Jones, assistant pastor of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church and coordinator of community initiatives for the City of West Palm Beach. “But let’s face it - I think a lot of the community are apprehensive about retaliation so there may be a disconnect – with law enforcement and for survival sake.”

Three years ago Jones initiated the program as part of The Mayor’s Village Initiative to focus on the challenges in some city neighborhoods. This summer there’s new leadership behind the community effort. Less than a month on the job, Chief Adderley says the canvas serves as part of his goal to make West Palm Beach the “safest city to live, work and visit” and a second goal to meet all approximately 110,000 residents.

“Recognize my commitment to the city,” he said.

As he met people in the city’s Historic Northwest neighborhood riddled with what residents call “crime and illegal dumping,” people WPTV spoke to agree with the chief’s philosophy.

“I believe that to police a community – you must know a community,” said William Washington,

Police also hope beyond the canvas, they’re presence encourages people to say something if they see something and not be afraid to come forward.

“That’s going to point us in the right direction,” Adderley added.

Peace in the Streets is a monthly canvas police conduct every third Thursday of each month.