Saturday, August 5, 2017

Another in the series: Why doesn’t City of Lake Worth have its own PD? A newspaper clipping below will help to answer that question.

On August 26th, 2008, then-Mayor Jeff Clemens signed the agreement turning over law enforcement responsibility to PBSO and disbanded the LWPD.

Why? The short answer is the former LWPD was simply overwhelmed and didn’t have the resources PBSO had.

Many present residents of this City were not here during that tumultuous time prior to PBSO taking over. In fact, the latest beat reporter from the Post, one fond of asking open-ended questions like, “Does Lake Worth have a gang problem?”, didn’t even begin reporting about this City until about two years ago.

The crime and gang situation was so bad prior to PBSO there were some publicly calling for police roadblocks on roads leading into the City. Absurd? Don’t believe it? Use this link.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. . .

“According to Mayor Jeff Clemens, the city is at least 10 officers short of the same time in 1997, a significant number when translated into street presence.”
—Quote from reporter Patrick Parrish in the Lake Worth Herald, April 2007, front page story above the fold. An excerpt from the article:

“The Lake Worth City Commission, 4-1, passed a resolution supporting the bill [House Bill 1363] to strengthen gang-fighting techniques by law enforcement.”


“I don’t feel comfortable voting on this tonight” [former commissioner Cara] Jennings said. “This could be a civil rights issue.”

Click on image to enlarge:
Another former commissioner, JoAnn Golden, quoted in the same 2007 article: “I can understand [Cara] Jennings’ concern on civil rights, but we have allowed gangs to get ahead of us.

One more quote:

“We walked the area [neighborhood in District 1] many years ago, block by block, and flushed out these criminals. We drove them out out of our neighborhoods and we might have to do that again.”
ibid. Quote by former Lake Worth Vice Mayor Retha Lowe.

By the way, the last “Walk the Walk with PBSO” was on April 9th. About time for another one? Maybe in District 1? Has there ever been a “Crime Walk” in District 2?

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