The town of Lake Park is taking big steps to crack down on crime by rolling out cutting-edge technology to better protect the community.
After a number of recent incidents, there is a perception that crime is on the rise among many people, but town leaders say that is not a reality.
“It’s pretty bad, it’s pretty bad,” said Penny White, who has been working in Lake Park for more than 40 years.
White has seen a lot, and claims crime and drugs are taking over
“Oh I worry about it every day,” White said. “This used to be a really nice sleepy neighborhood.”
Her concerns come after a carjacking last week at 10th Street and Greenbrier Court with a 5-year-old girl in the backseat. Surveillance video obtained by WPTV shows the frantic moments after a father shot the suspect, identified as Terrence Wilson Jr.
PBSO says the father was in fear of his daughter’s safety, and he discharged his firearm and struck Wilson.
Wilson died on scene. PBSO says that father will not be charged, and he had a concealed weapons permit.
"We do have problems, but they're manageable,” said John D’Agostino, the town manager of Lake Park.
D’Agostino says crime is actually down, but there is more work to do. According to crime stats from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, almost all violent crimes, including sexual assault, shootings and homicides are down from this time last year
"We have been fighting crime in our community for a long time, as every other community has," D’Agostino said.
Lake Park is now partnering with PBSO by using cutting-edge technology to crack down. Surveillance cameras will be installed throughout the town, which will help dispatch deputies in real-time to different situations. License plate readers will also be installed to help keep track of who is coming and going into the town. D’Agostino said ShotSpotter technology will also be rolled out to respond to incidents more quickly.
“This administration is not going to rest until we have proactively addressed the crime issue from every segment of our population," said D’Agostino. “We look forward to a very progressive police enforcement opportunity over the next year.