Monday, July 3, 2017

As of July 2nd. Homicides in Palm Beach County: The numbers are not good this year.

[UPDATE: As of July 15th, there are now 19 homicides in West Palm Beach and a total of 65 in Palm Beach County.]

To verify these numbers for yourself, use the “Homicide Tracker”, a database provided by The Palm Beach Post. Use this link for a recent article by Post reporter Julius Whigham II titled, “County homicides on pace to be deadliest year in past decade”:

“The county reached 61 homicides as of Friday morning [June 30th], close to the mid-point of the year. The second-deadliest mid-year total was 2014, when there were 55 homicides through June. The county finished with 98 homicides that year. The county has not reached 60 homicides before August in at least a decade, according to Palm Beach Post records.
     If the second half of 2017 matches the first, the county would exceed 100 homicides for just the third time since 2007. The county had 107 homicides in 2007, 105 in 2008 and 109 in 2015, Post records show.”

As of July 2nd from the Post database:

  • Total homicides in Palm Beach County (PBC) in 2016: 87.
  • Total homicides so far in 2017: 61 (by this time in 2016 there were 45).
Three cities in PBC account for over half of all the homicides so far this year: West Palm Beach (17), Riviera Beach (10), and Boynton Beach (5): 32 of 61 homicides (note: by this time in 2016 there were three [3] homicides in West Palm Beach). West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, and Boynton Beach have their own police departments.

All other cities listed in the Post database with their own police departments (13 cities):

  • Jupiter: 4 homicides
  • Delray Beach: 2
  • Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton: 1
  • Lake Clarke Shores, Lantana, Loxahatchee Groves, Palm Beach Shores, Palm Springs, Tequesta: 0

Total homicides* in the nine cities patrolled by PBSO and including unincorporated County areas: 20 (versus 40 in seven cities with their own police departments).

  • Unincorporated PBC: 10 homicides
  • Lake Worth: 3
  • Belle Glade, Greenacres: 2
  • Mangonia Park, Pahokee, Wellington: 1
  • Lake Park, Royal Palm Beach, South Bay: 0
  • “Loxahatchee” (not a city but listed in the database): 0

Breakdown by race:

  • Black: 38 homicides
  • White: 14
  • Hispanic: 4
  • Native: 1
  • Other: 1
  • Unknown: 3
Note the Post’s database used to have a search tool by age but that was eliminated. When that was available it showed most homicides, by far, were in the age group 20–34.

So. What does all this mean? Draw your own conclusions.

You’ll notice in the database there are many cities not on the list. There are 39 cities in PBC. Going back to 2009, the first year in the database, that would suggest there has not been a homicide in the following cities (17 total):
  • Atlantis
  • Briny Breezes
  • Cloud Lake
  • Glen Ridge
  • Golf
  • Gulf Stream
  • Haverhill
  • Highland Beach
  • Hypoluxo
  • Juno Beach
  • Jupiter Inlet Colony
  • Manalapan
  • North Palm Beach
  • Ocean Ridge
  • Palm Beach
  • South Palm Beach
  • Westlake
The year 2016 was a sign of hope and progress, clearly showing a downward trend of homicides in PBC. Sadly, that trend is not continuing this year. Another excerpt from the article by Whigham:

     “Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Edmondson noted that the cases involving multiple victims have been a contributing factor to this year’s spike. He added that ‘it would be difficult to suggest common denominators’ in assessing the spike.”

*One homicide location in PBC is undetermined, “Unknown location, possibly in or near Belle Glade or Pahokee, an unknown community”.

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