Saturday, January 2, 2016

[Front page news in The Palm Beach Post today] Another homicide in Boynton Beach (and a breakdown of the homicide numbers in PBC thus far)

[Below is a post that appeared on this blog on 12/28 of last year. Mike Stucka at The Palm Beach Post penned this article titled, "Palm Beach County homicides: 2015 shaping up as 3rd deadliest" that is on the front page, above the fold, in today's (1/2) paper. The reporter has a quote from Greenacres Public Safety Director Mike Porath. If you weren't aware, Greenacres is disbanding its police department and going with PBSO like Lake Worth did. I have a question at the end of the post you might find interesting. The original post from 12/28 follows:]

With three more days to go in the year we all hope there isn't any more violence and/or murders in Palm Beach County. Last year there were 98 murders and this year that number is up to 107. It's been a real bad year thus far. That number is mostly because of one city in particular that had 22 homicides this year; more on that later. John Pacenti has this news about another homicide in Boynton Beach and an excerpt follows:
     The deadly gunplay occurred at what residents described as a block party in the 1200 block of Northwest Fourth Street. The area is a middle-class black neighborhood anchored by the Cherry Hill Mini Market, but the short block is now the scene of the second fatal shooting in two months.
     On Sunday morning, the neighborhood was filled with children playing and riding their bikes.
     As of 4 p.m. on Sunday, Boynton Beach police hadn’t identified the 18-year-old victim. He was found shot in the street and taken to Delray Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Before long the Post's LINE OF FIRE: BULLETS, BADGES, AND DEATH ON THE STREETS! will be rolled out once again. In case you didn't know, PBSO Sheriff Bradshaw is up for re-election, hence the paper's focus on deputy involved shootings. When it comes to the issue of shootings overall though, that problem is much bigger than anything PBSO is doing or not doing, and here's why (if my numbers are off please feel free to send me the correct info):
  • Total homicides so far in 2015 (as of 12/28): 107
  • Total in all PBSO patrolled areas (unincorporated county plus the eight towns/cities): 45
  • Total homicides is all towns/cities not patrolled by PBSO52
  • Total homicides in one city not patrolled by PBSO, West Palm Beach (WPB): 22
WPB is, without a doubt, the outlier statistically. For some perspective, over 20% of all the homicides thus far in 2015 occurred in WPB and the number of homicides in WPB is nearly the same total as all homicides in unincorporated PBC (24).

Here's the breakdown of other cities in PBC and those homicide numbers:
  • Lake Worth: 9
  • Greenacres: 9
  • Boynton Beach: 8
  • Wellington: 2
  • Lake Park: 3
  • Belle Glade: 4
  • Pahokee: 2
  • Royal Palm Beach: 0
Note that Greenacres will be switching to PBSO early next year. Here are all the cities and towns that currently use PBSO: Belle Glade, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Mangonia Park, Pahokee, Royal Palm Beach, South Bay and Wellington.

When the Post's LINE OF FIRE gets rolled out again ask yourself this question: Which LINE OF FIRE should the paper focus on? From PBSO deputies or what's happening almost on the front step of The Palm Beach Post located in WPB? You may also be interested in knowing this: The Post's data of police shootings ends in 2014—there is no data available at all for 2015.

Want to thank once again the Post reporters Julius Whigham II and Michelle Quigley. These two are probably more responsible for repairing the unfair reputation of the City of Lake Worth than any other reporters in PBC and you can read about that here. The data originally was gathered using Zip Codes and this was corrected going all the way back to 2009—quite a lot of diligent work. The information on the homicide totals above can be found using this link. Once again, if any of my analysis is inaccurate contact me and I'll correct the information.

It's a shame our law enforcement and crime situations have to be so politicized in the way it has been. It's not right that a city like Lake Worth becomes ground zero in the debate on whether a city should have its own PD or contract that service with PBSO but it's the climate in which we live now. Yes, Lake Worth did have 9 homicides this year but remember two of those were a double murder/suicide and another homicide, that of Tyler Etue, exposes probably the biggest contributor to crime in the City: sober homes, their operators, and the lack of supervision.

One last thing—Instead of the Post "wagging the dog" about Sheriff Bradshaw and PBSO how about a debate on this question: Should West Palm Beach consider switching to PBSO like Greenacres is doing?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, we are at the top of the list. Yikes, what does city leadership have to say about that stat?