We should change city name from WPB to Related

As hard as I try to accept the recent election of City Commissioners I read the Palm Beach Post and find myself upset all over again. Here are some examples of why.

Understand the City Commissioners serve as the CRA board of directors.

4/29/18 story by Tony Doris: “Transformative project can’t even get a vote”
“Plans for a major north-end development with micro-condominiums, affordable apartments, offices, a grocery and a park, have collapsed over city commissioner concerns the developer couldn’t make it happen.”
Commissioner Neering (who was 1 of 3 commissioners to vote against Related “One Flagler” brought the item up for discussion, and couldn’t receive a second to move the conversation forward. Why?

Commissioner James was quoted as stating “The financing plans for this one seemed unnecessarily complex and sophisticated.”

Commissioner Ryan also quoted “I listened, I heard the financing and the cost of construction, and I knew this was not a real deal.”

Two new commissioners sworn in 4/5/18 and attended the CRA meeting held 4/23/18 a full 19 days in their new position had this to say in part.

Commissioner Lambert “I wasn’t comfortable with the financing”

Commissioner Shoaf while not uttering the word Financing but did say “she wants smart growth, but the right kind, as well as other aspects of how the deal was structured”

Commissioner Neering was “dumbfounded” none of his colleagues would second the motion to discuss the project.
Commissioner Neering–it’s not a Related project of course they aren’t interested in discussing it.

Mayor Jeri Muoio, who is solidly behind the Related project’s and strongly supported Lambert’s campaign was quoted in the PB Post calling her win “good for business.” I agree with the mayor 100%. Unfortunately it will be bad for residents.

Now I expect both James and Ryan along with the mayor to take these two women “under their wings” and show them how business is done in WPB.
They now have the votes needed to move any Related project forward, and move forward they will.
Money well spent by developers.

“One Flagler” which residents were solidly against was defeated by Commissioners Materio, Neering and Moffett, and after the election I spoke from the podium and said it would be brought back for consideration. Well, 5 weeks after the new commissioners were sworn in it is on the agenda for the planning board for 5/15/18 @ 6:00 PM in City Hall.
This is an extremely important meeting and if you can attend, please do, and speak up. “Friends” of City Hall will be on hand telling the board what a wonderful project this will be.
Gee, maybe Related will bring pizza again and place kids not old enough to vote in the chairs so residents must move to the Flagler Room.

Related plans to build an 18 story 300,000 square feet, Class A office tower dubbed 360 Rosemary.
With Related’s 4 friends on the commission this shouldn’t be a problem.

One of my recent stories I wrote about how close the City, Related and the Chamber of Commerce are. If you missed the article I repeat they are thisclose. So how about the commissioners work on this for their next project as their always concerned about money for improvements residents ask for.

The Chamber Of Commerce rent’s a city owned property located at 401 North Flagler Dr. for $1.00/year. No, that’s not a typo error and you read it correctly, $1.00/year.
Tax collector appraises the building at $10,929,710.00
City owned property pay’s no taxes.
It is illegal to place election signs on city owned property and when a resident sent an e-mail to Mayor Muoio, Jeff Green, City Commissioners and Code Enforcement about a “Lambert” sign on the Chambers site and asked that it be removed. Mayor Muoio said to leave it alone, so it may be tough for Ms. Lambert to consider raising their rent.

Who is Martina Tate Walker?

I first heard Ms. Walker speak at the first City Commission debate where she is running for City Commissioner District 1.

The audience seemed to like not only her, but her message as well. After listening to her views and hopes for the city I wanted to meet and speak with her, and am happy I made the effort. Here’s what I learned.

Ms. Walker doesn’t have sponsors throwing big money at her. In fact Ms. Walker has no money. You wont see yard signs, t-shirts or fliers in your mailbox. She has no campaign manager guiding her. You will not see the Chamber of Commerce or Related funding her election with expectations of a payback with her vote if she’s elected.

So who is this woman, and why does she want to be a City Commissioner?
Ms. Walker is an ordained minister, and told me her strongest assets are her God, and family.

When I asked her what she wanted people to know about her she mentioned integrity first, her transparency(what you see, is what you get) She feels it is important to listen to people, but places more importance on hearing them. Re-read that last line and think about it. She understands problems, but places more importance on finding the solutions.

Martina retired after 25 years from the PBC Health Dept; working in Human Resources and 6 years with USPS.
Important topics for her are children and the elderly.
For the kid’s she wants the city’s to engage in finding ways to entertain children, and supply a way to move them from point A to point B. She asked me what good a soccer field would do kids if they don’t have a way to get there. I didn’t have a answer.
She would like to see more affordable housing for the elderly, and support groups for them.

I asked her how she spent her day’s, and I thought my pen would run out of ink before she finished.
She councils married folks, singles, elderly and most important to her, children.
She “partners” with FPL requesting they not shut off a customers electricity and finds a way to bring the account up to date and find acceptable payment plans.
Partners with DCF to assist folks acquire food stamps.
Partners with Toy’s for Tot’s.
Partners with food banks and delivers food to needy families.
Works with programs for Youth Bullying.
Rides 12 hours a month with the C.O.P. (Citizens on Patrol) program.
Visits Nursing Homes and Hospital’s.
My next question was how she found the time and energy to do it all. Her answer: “God gives me the time and energy and all the guidance I need”.

What you have read is not known to many people only herself and the people she helps. Ms. Walker has an almost innocent childlike way about herself, but I wouldn’t want to try and pull anything over on her.

I like this lady very much, I believe what she say’s, and have no problem supporting her in her bid for a commission seat.

Keep your hands off our cars–Fix Flagler

Dear Neighbor,

After months of constant feedback from hundreds of concerned citizens, it appeared Flagler Shore would be dead for good March 1st.

That is until Mayor Jeri Muoio published a Point Of View article in the Palm Beach Post on Saturday, March 3rd. This article makes it clear that any signals we might have gotten that Flagler Shore might go away were wrong. The mayor has doubled down on Flagler Shore and called all of you a “special interest group.” The text of her article can be found at the end of this email.
We are developing a comprehensive plan to respond to the mayor’s article. We will be convening a meeting of the Fix Flagler! steering committee the week of March 11.

In the interim, please keep up the drumbeat of opposition to the outrageous act of escalation by our city’s elected leader and be grateful for term limits. Please urge your friends to join our movement and contribute to our cause. We are a grassroots movement of concerned citizens, and we won’t give up until Flagler Shore is no more!
You can sign our petition and email the mayor, city commissioners, and candidates all from our website, www.fixflagler.org.

Sincerely,
Robert Garvy and Carol Garvy
Founders
Fix Flagler!

Point of View: Flagler Shore a good step in improving space for all
The future of West Palm Beach rests in our ability to try new things and embrace new ways of thinking. That is exactly what we have done with Flagler Shore, a pilot project that temporarily closes two lanes of Flagler Drive to reclaim 63,000 square feet of road for the public benefit, providing more space for walking and biking, and events. Our goal? To take a small step forward, with minimal investment, in creating a quality open space along West Palm Beach’s most loved but underutilized destination.

Quality open spaces do more than improve health and well-being. They also contribute to increased property values. As more individuals move back into cities, there is increased demand — which West Palm Beach can’t afford to ignore — for better quality public spaces, including urban green spaces, where friends can meet up for coffee and good conversation, where our children and grandchildren can play, where families can make memories, where the public can gather together.

Contrary to what critics orchestrating a heavily funded, opposition campaign may want you to believe, Flagler Shore has been a success — even with some “bumps in the road” — and I firmly stand by it.

Flagler Shore has been successful in yielding valuable data about Flagler Drive, its safety, and how it’s used by pedestrians and motorists alike. We now know with absolute certainty that this road was overbuilt and that, today, there still is not enough vehicular traffic to justify four lanes of Flagler Drive.

Flagler Shore has been successful in starting the dialogue about our city’s public spaces, what they should look like, how they should be used, and whose voice — if any — should matter most in the creation of temporary or permanent public spaces.

The city received many favorable responses to Flagler Shore and — mixed with the good and the bad — constructive ideas about how we can be better, all of which we have taken into account and from which we have learned. We are appreciative of everyone who took the time to share with us your thoughts by writing, calling or attending any of the Flagler Shore neighborhood meetings, focus groups or think tanks. We wanted as much input from as many people as possible, and now we know that West Palm Beach demands a high-quality public space.

We must remember that Flagler Drive is public property, and so it must remain a space for all West Palm Beach residents and visitors. The city’s public policy will not be determined by any special interest group, as the views of those who are loudest do not always reflect the views of everyone.

As we have promised from the very beginning, Flagler Drive will reopen on March 1st, and, soon, city staff will present a final report detailing findings and recommendations. Once complete, we look forward to presenting the results to residents and, also, to our city commission.

We look forward to an ongoing dialogue on how to design quality public spaces for people.

JERI MUOIO, WEST PALM BEACH

Time To Give Back

America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan on Dec.7,1941, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was quoted as stating “a date which will live in infamy”

Another date that should “live in infamy” is September 9, 2001 when 19 hijackers and a few others in a cave in Afghanistan planned and carried out the attack on America causing the death of nearly 3,000 Americans which included:
343 firefighters (including a chaplain and two paramedics) of the New York City Fire Department.
37 police officers of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department.
23 police officers of the New York City Police Department.
8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics from private emergency medical services.

The above figures do not represent the thousands of other first respondents who still fall ill to this day due to respiratory and cancer causing carcinogens inhaled on that faithful day, running into buildings in their attempt to save lives and in the process losing their’s. Why do I bring this up now? For 2 reasons, let me explain.

When a fire broke out in London England 79 people living in the 24 story Grenfell Towers lost their lives, and many more injured with severe burns, and the death toll is expected to rise. I watched the news, saw the inferno, and said a prayer for the victims. Then I read Sunday’s paper and the article on Developer Jeff Greene and his plans for WPB.
Mr. Greene has 8 projects in the work, and I will mention a few.

Micro Apartments=550 Banyan Blvd.=12 stories.
Clematis Place= Clematis St.= 12 stories
One West Palm= 550 No. Quadrille Blvd. It is written this is his biggest project with 2 towers, each 30 stories high, 209,000 square feet of offices, 328 luxury apartments, hotel and retail. I am assuming the luxury apartments will be on the top floors. Mr. Greene has the OK from the ,city to build, but is waiting on a decision from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) but doesn’t anticipate a problem.
What could kill Mr Greene’s project? Related Co. plans to build a 25 story tower near the waterfront, on a site zoned for 5 stories and is pushing the city to allow the construction. If the city allows the project to go forward, Mr. Greene states “I probably wont go ahead with the project. I don’t feel like competing with a building right on the water unless he gets a big tax break to compensate”

The city has allowed so much construction, there is no where to go but up, and after 30 years of living in WPB, I now live in a possible flood zone. It’s a shame they cant make concrete to absorb water like the land can. Water has to go somewhere, and if it crawls into your home that’s really a shame.

If you read this far, thank you, here is one point I wish to make and it concerns the WPB Fire Dept; The fire dept; along with the police dept; are and always will be my heroes for reasons mentioned above. They are selfless individuals who put our safety above their own, and rush into danger while others are trying to escape. I believe both departments are in financial trouble, and would offer a couple of solutions.

First the city has 3 Fire Truck Ladder’s, and they can extend 100′ capable of reaching 8-9 floors if they can get close to the building. For every 10′ away from the building, that’s 10′ they lose in height.
One truck is in the process of being disposed of due to the cost of keeping it operational, and needs to be replaced. (To damn old and falling apart).

If the ladders cant go beyond 8-9 floors, why would the city allow 30 story buildings? Simple answer, the developer want to make as many millions as possible on the project.

Instead of Mr. Greene asking for “a big tax break” why not thank the city for all he’s received by purchasing a much needed fire ladder truck, donating it to the city, and have a nice tax write off for himself, not to mention the great publicity he would receive.
I imagine these trucks run hundred’s of thousands of dollars, and the city could hire much needed help in both the fire and police dept. if they didn’t lay out money for the new truck. I see it as a win-win.

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know I ask readers to vote no on all new taxes the city, county and state ask for because I believe they could do a better job of handling our tax dollars.
Homeowners soon will be asked to vote for another $25,000.00 Homeowners Exemption, bringing it to $75,000.00.
I am a homeowner, and will vote the exemption down if the city promises they will use the tax dollars to fully fund the WPB Fire & Police Dept. with the needed manpower and equipment.

Mayor Muoio please ask Mr. Greene to purchase and donate the Fire Truck.

 

 

I Don’t Get It

May 10,2017 I had my 2nd. ride with a cop, and rode a different shift. 10:30 PM until 3:00 AM. Officer Bryan Vautin was the officer in charge of my safety as we rode the north end of the city where crime can be observed daily.

We talked as he rode me into sections of WPB I never knew existed,while he pointed out different sights and troubled areas of the city.

Bryan’s first stop took us to an area off the beaten path where he said folks do drugs, and abandon stolen cars. He spotted 2 people sitting in a car and stepped out to investigate.The young man handed Bryan a joint smoked down to the roach clip, and Officer Vautin mentioned the driver was extremely nervous for having such a small amount of pot.
He asked for his drivers license and discovered it was suspended,same story with the young lady in the car.
Officer Vautin asked the young man if he had a problem with a search of the car, and was told no he didn’t have a problem with it. At this point a second officer had arrived for backup.
Officer Vautin found a gun, loaded with 10 rounds. The young man said he bought it about a year ago from someone he didn’t know. When Bryan ran the gun it came back as stolen from Riviera Beach. Both officers questioned the young man and he was adamant he didn’t know the name of the man who sold him the gun.
Officer Vautin confiscated the gun and said it would be tested against gun crimes committed. I asked him what would happen if the gun was used in a robbery or murder within the year the man claims he bought it.
The information would be turned over to detectives who would investigate further. The young man had no outstanding warrants and no felony convictions and the police did not arrest him, while telling him to call for a ride and not drive the car. Young man got a break.

Officer Vautin continued on patrol when a call came over the radio saying another officer on patrol saw a flashlight come on in a business, that was possibility being burglarized. The call came at approximately 2:00 AM. He wasted no time responding to the call and when we arrived there were 4 cruiser ahead of us. The business was a one story and officers set a parameter around the building.
Across the street from the business were very large storage containers and Officer Vautin was asked to climb the container to insure someone wasn’t breaking in by way of the roof.
I witnessed officers shining flashlights into the building, when I heard an officer report the back of the building had a garage door, and it was opened approximately 3 feet. Another officer reported he could see a woman inside.
I watched Officer Vautin climb down from the container and run toward the building. Officers identified themselves and told the woman to come to the door which she did.

Unfortunately I wasn’t surprised when the business owner verbally abused the officers because they woke her up. (she sleeps in the back room of her business)
Officers witnessed suspicious activity and investigated, which most people would be grateful for. Not this owner. The owner was yelling loud enough I heard her across the street.
Police requested her to place a sign in her window with a contact name and phone no. explaining they would have called the phone and asked if someone had permission to be in the building. She said she would not post any sign’s in her window, and her phone no. was not the cops business. I can’t comprehend how anyone can be so angry when police are concerned about a possible burglar breaking and entering, and risking their lives to protect her property. She should have witnessed Officer Vautin climb to the roof of the storage containers, (if he fell may very well have broken his neck) to enable him to view the roof in an attempt to protect her business.
This was my second ride with a cop and both times I witnessed officers shown absolutely no respect by people of color.
I don’t get it.
The most shocking scene I witnessed this night was the number of young kids (I’m talking young teens) riding bicycles and walking the streets in groups of 3-4 at 2:30 AM. Where are the parents of these young children who walk the streets doing God knows what?
I don’t get it!

The third Thursday of every month a “Peace in the street March” led by Rev. Kevin Jones. At the May walk I met a new lady who joined us from Century Village. Folks come from all over the city to walk but most times police outnumber the marchers, and you will rarely see a marcher who lives in the north end neighborhood.
I don’t get it!

One of the greatest inventions in my lifetime was the television, a small round screen, black & white. The curse of the TV are the commercials but recently two commercials caught my attention.

Pepsi Cola commercial showed a group of black protestors holding signs reading
“peace” “love” and “join the conversation.” The protestors were facing a line of Police Officers when a young black woman (Kendall Jenner) broke from the line, walked to an officer and handed him a can of Pepsi
It’s not clear what the smiling, attractive demonstrators are upset about, the only clues being their placards. I absolutely loved the commercial, and watched it twice, before the nightly news reported Pepsi had pulled the commercial do to an uproar from the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Pepsi Cola stated their intention was “Trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding. Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize, we did not intend to make light of any serious issue. We are removing the content and halting any further rollout. We also apologize for putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”
I don’t get it.

“Watch Your Med’s”
Shows an older gentlemen opening his medicine cabinet, and taking a pill. When he closes the cabinet it shows a young woman taking one on his pills.
The other shows an older woman, on crutches, opening her cabinet and swallowing a pill. When she closes the cabinet, there is a young man swallowing a pill.
This commercial runs often, and when cities recently ran a program allowing people to turn in their expired or un-used medication records were broken on the amount turned in.
This one I get.

 

 

Cops & Scholars

In the summer of 2015, 10 people were murdered and 28 were wounded in the City of WPB.

Two years later most cases remain open, though the police know the gang members involved, their hands are tied due too lack of cooperation and eyewitnesses coming forward. I want to tell you about one particular officer named Sgt. William Nealy.

Sgt. William Nealy, who has won multiple awards and recognition for his work with kids definitely thinks “outside the box” when it concerns juvenile’s. If you take the time to speak to this officer his passion and devotion to the problem facing young men and woman come through loud and clear.
Sgt. Nealy has over a decade working with Juveniles and patrols many of the most dangerous sections of the city mainly the Tamarind Avenue corridor, where the shootings mentioned above happened.

Every person Nealy stops and asked what can be done to stop the violence, they all say the same things: jobs, activities for the kids and, above all else opportunity. Some of the men say their past criminal histories keep them from employment. They say kids have nothing to do when they’re out of school. Here is how the city has responded.

Jobs
“Mayor’s Village Initiative/Workforce Development Program.”
The goal of this program is to connect residents to employment, to assist them in overcoming any barriers to obtaining employment and to provide educational/vocational training.

Career Source Palm Beach County assist the youth and young adults meet the education and career goals through various programs. The year-round work readiness program helps eligible youth ages 16 – 24 who are not working and attending school to:
Develop leadership and work maturity skills
Explore career pathways
Receive money management training
Engage in mock interviews and resume building
Earn over $900 during a five-week program

Activities for the kids:
Youth Empowerment Center’s (YEC) are located at Gaines Park and the Pleasant City.
YEC’s incorporate enriching team-specific program from kids 12 to 19 years old. These facilities feature a multipurpose building for programs and activities, audio/video and recording labs, computer labs, playground area, gymnasium and outdoor basketball courts and other outdoor sports amenities.

Police Athletic League (PAL) is a juvenile crime prevention program that relies heavily upon academics and recreational activities to create and maintain the bond between police officers and kids on the street.

Gang Resistant Education and Training (GREAT)
The Great Program is intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership. The educational training is geared for children fifth grade and above.

Urban Youth Empowerment Program aims to help young adults who have been involved in the adult criminal justice system, juvenile justice system and are high school drop-outs reached their educational and career goals.

Past criminal histories that keep them from employment also have a couple of programs.
Juvenile Arrest and Monitoring. (JAM)
The purpose of JAM is to establish to alleviate criminal activities committed by juveniles under supervision of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Juveniles on JAM are closely monitored by West Palm Beach Police Department officers.

Neighborhood Accountability Board
This program is geared for youth between 12 – 18 years of age who have committed a first time misdemeanor offense. NAB is based on the principles of Restorative Justice. The participants are referred by Law Enforcement or the State Attorney’s Office.
Upon completion of the program the pending charges will not be documented on court records.

Reduction Intervention Prevention (RIP)
this program is geared toward first-time felony offenders between the ages of 13 to 24 years of age. The goal is to provide them with the necessary resources and mentoring in hopes that they will become productive members of the community.

Sgt. Nealy is a firm believer cops should step out of their cruisers and talk to the youth in the area creating trust between the two.
In August Sgt. Nealy and officers will be presenting “Operation Youth Violence – R.I.P. (Reduction, Intervention, Prevention)” at the 2017 International Gang Conference in Chicago.
When you have a program that works, other cities want to know about it, and I am thrilled that West Palm Beach can assist Chicago.

I know we can’t save all these kids, because some of them don’t want to be saved, but if we all go out and take one boy or girl by the hand, take the time to talk to them and lead then in another direction we can change a life. Sounds good,but few will do it for many reasons.
Willing to try are Sgt. Nealy and the officers committed to an added program called:

“Cops &Scholars”
This program is aimed at encouraging the inner City’s youth to focus on high academic standards. The youth who show academic improvement over a period of time will be rewarded with a sit down meal at local restaurants paired with offices, in uniform. Their goal is to encourage the youth of West Palm Beach to strive for higher academics.
This program I can help with by sending a check to help cover the cost of the meal. If you can join me please send your check and in the memo section add  “Cops & Scholars” and our contribution will be designated for that program.

West Palm Beach Police Foundation
P.O. Box 851
West Palm Beach, FL 33402

Contributions can also be made at the web address below.

http://www.wpbpolicefoundation.org.

Walk A Mile In Their Shoes-Before Complaining.

 On Jan. 28, 2017 I attended “Coffee with a Cop” and the focus was on the young children that attended with their parents.The event was held on a Saturday when children had the day off from school and attendance was high. There was face painting, visits with the police dog, fingerprinting the young for possible future identification, eating ice cream, and kids from very young to very old atop a motorcycle. Everywhere you looked police were interacting with children, answering their questions, and handing out badges. You could feel the energy flowing with everyone smiling and laughing. It was a true, feel good educational morning.
Later that night I was scheduled for a ride-a-long with a cop. I asked for, and received the north end of the city.

It started with roll call and officers were told to be on the lookout for a man who had a warrant issued for his arrest, and was known to frequent the north end of the city.
After roll call I was introduced to Officer Chris Malta who I was assigned to ride with.
Chris has been with the police department for 10 years, has worked in narcotics and he also assist in training new recruits. Chris told me he loved being a cop, and has a strong interest working with juveniles.
Chris’s first instructions to me was to stay in the cruiser, keep my seat belt buckled, unless he summoned me out. He insured me if a foot chase was necessary he would not leave me alone to pursue a suspect. His job that night was to keep me safe, assist officers where needed, and be on the lookout for the man that had an arrest warrant.

Within 30 minutes of my ride-a-long on the corner of 13th and Sapodilla the cruiser abruptly came to a stop, and before I could ask a question Chris jumped from the car and started talking to a man who was leaning into another car talking to a woman. The unknown woman sped off, and barely missed hitting Chris.

Another cruiser appeared driven by Officer Daniel Fuchsman, two years with the force to assist Chris.
The suspect was moved to the sidewalk and questioned by officers. Next thing I see the man is placed in handcuffed and searched. From his pockets the officers removed 15-20 bags which I was told was marijuana, and he was placed in the backseat of the cruiser.
A scale was placed on the hood of the car, the drugs were weighed, and there turned out to be less than 20 grams which Chris explained represents a misdemeanor.
Chris was familiar with the suspect, and mentioned he had multiple arrest for drug possession and distribution.
Now I must mention both cop and suspect were respectful of one another, both were soft spoken, and it appeared the suspect knew Chris was doing his job, and he was unlucky enough to get caught with drugs on this particular night.

The man was being arrested but not booked into jail, instead would be issued a court summons to appear.
While Chris was finishing the paperwork, a woman appeared and questioned why her son was in handcuffs. Obviously a call was made to her informing her that her son was in police custody. Chris recognized the woman and explained her son was arrested for possession of drugs, was not going to jail but being issued a court summons. Her reaction? “This wasn’t worth getting out of bed for”

The first call over the radio was for a women who complained about domestic violence and wanted her live in boyfriend removed from her apartment. Chris and Daniel both responded to the call. After a few minutes Chris motioned for me to join them.
Apparently the boyfriend physically abused the woman, but left before the police arrived. I learned there were children in the apartment to witness the incident.
Chris took pictures of the woman’s face and hands, and advised the woman to call police immediately if he returned.

The second call was Loud Noise Disturbance. Blocks away you could hear the music and a man singing loud enough that you were aware he was using a megaphone.
Chris advised him to turn down the music and stop using the megaphone. The man protested, loudly, always answering questions through the megaphone.
Chris told the man he didn’t want to arrest him, but would if he didn’t stop disturbing his neighbors. The music was turned down and the megaphone put away.

The third call was from a man who wanted his wife arrested for stealing his wallet and cell phone and she refused to return the items.
Chris responded to the call and we saw 2 men sitting in lawn chair’s on the sidewalk. Chris asked if either of them called the police, and the older man responded he had.
After our arrival we were joined by Daniel.
Chris asked what the problem was, and the man was adamant they arrest his wife for stealing his property.
A woman appeared on an upstairs porch asking what the problem was and it turns out she was his wife. Chris said he would be with her in a minute and tried to continue the conversation with her husband, while the wife continued asking what the problem was.
Chris went to speak to the wife while the husband sat quietly and waited. After a while the man’s front pocket lit up, he removed a cell phone and had a quick conversation.

When Chris returned he handed the man a wallet and was asked if they were going to arrest his wife, and was told no.
He became extremely belligerent, loud, jumped from the chair, waving his arms, while both officers backed up, and walked away yelling and demanding to see their watch commander. The man sat back down while both officers attempted to talk and keep him calm . He again demanded to talk with the watch commander, and Chris assured him he was on the way. The man jumped up again, and raising his hands over his head, started yelling “hands-up, don’t shoot” and I’m thinking what the hell?
Neither officer made a move, threatening or otherwise, and both officers were extremely courteous, patient and professional.
What I witnessed was a resident showing total disrespect for a couple of cops doing their job. My opinion was the man was out of control, and “baiting” the police, who stood and waited for the watch commander.
Outcome: Watch Commander arrived, listened to what the man had to say, and repeated what was previously reported, the wife would not be arrested. Police reward: More verbal abuse.
In the course of a few hours I saw a cop nearly run over, a resident refusing to turn down the music until he was told he could be arrested,and another resident verbally abusing cops for refusing to make an arrest.

This night I met a third officer William Nealy, who’s passionate about children and youth violence. Officer Nealy has won awards and letters of praise for his work in this area.
A story will be coming soon on what the WPB Police Dept; and Officer Nealy are doing to attempt to help juveniles get back on track.
A special Thank You to Officer Donawa who assisted me in setting the appointment for my ride along, and Chris and Daniel for keeping me and the city safe.

God bless and watch over them all.

Trump has his work cut out for himself

On Jan. 6, 2017 Outgoing President Barack Obama threw a star studded farewell party for himself and wife Michelle and reportedly the cream of the crop attended such as Robert DeNiro, Jay Z, Steve Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Al Sharpton to mention a few.

On Jan. 6, 2017 At approximately 1:00 PM Esteban Santiago, 26 years old, flew into Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. airport from Alaska, deplaned, visited the men’s room, loaded his firearm, exited and shot to death five American citizens and wounded eight others. Many other’s sent to the hospital with chest pains while others with broken bones. I cannot tell readers the names of the people who were murdered because their names have not been released by law enforcement until next of kin have been notified, but was pleased to be able to name the stars that attended the Obama’s farewell party.

It is now 9:AM a full 20 hours since the airport attack and the country has not received a statement from President Obama concerning the attack.. What are his priorities?
Obviously the “star studded” gala.

I will make a prediction and predict President Obama, a day or two before leaving office will grant a Presidential Pardon for Hillary Clinton, although I can’t understand why an innocent party needs a pardon but we’ll see.

On Jan.20,2017 Donald Trump will be sworn in as America’s 45th. President of the U.S. and here is my wish list for my country.

I’m OK if he doesn’t have a party after his swearing in because I want him clear headed on Jan. 21 if he is needed to address the country because a state has been attacked.

I hope Obama care is overturned due to the fact it is a total disaster. When this 4,000 pages of health care was passed in Washington, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, led the charge to get it passed, when asked what it contained she stated “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it.” Seriously, she said that, the Washington elite passed the bill without reading it. We voted for them, so we can blame ourselves for not paying attention, and voting for color, gender pacific or political party.
I lost my doctor, my out of pocket deductibles doubled, emergency room visit up 48%, and doubled the cost of a hospital room.

I want our borders secured, and I don’t care if it takes a wall to do it. There are an estimated
11 million illegal aliens in the United States. If I were a terrorist wanting to harm our country I would enter through the Canadian or Mexican border where tons of illegal drugs pour over the border annually. Unfortunately the drug demand is here and drastic steps must be taken.

I want President Trump to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Goods manufactured in Canada or Mexico are eligible for duty-free treatment or reduced duty rates under the North America Free Trade Agreement. Not a good deal for America, great for Canada and Mexico.

I want President Trump to take a hard stand on crime in America.
One extremely upsetting story this week was told about four suspects who are facing hate crime charges after an 18-year-old mentally disabled man was bound, beaten, taunted with racial slurs and forced to drink from a toilet over a two day period, and the thugs posted a video broadcast live on Facebook.
The disoriented victim was found wandering the streets of Chicago by police. He managed to escape his tormentors when a neighbor threatened to call 911 over noise coming from the apartment where he was held. The suspects were identified by police as Jordan Hill, 18, Tesfaye Cooper, 18, and sisters Brittany Covington, 18, and 24-year-old Tanishia Covington.
Two of these pathetic individuals are woman. What happened to women who were nurtures and put the band aid on the boo-boo?

I want President Trump to defend law enforcement who are brutally murdered for no other reason than the uniform they wear.
Who cant remember the heightened tension between communities across the country when two police officers and one sheriff’s deputy were shot and killed during an ambush in Baton Rouge by a black gunman who was later killed by responding officers. In Dallas, a black gunman opened fire on police during a protest against recent police shootings of black suspects; ( how do you promote peace by inciting violence?) the gunman killed five officers before being killed by authorities. There have been 63 law enforcement officers murdered in 2016.
Cities must find a way to terminate law enforcement jobs who prove to be a disgrace to the uniform, and endanger fellow officers like the eight officers mentioned above.

Some cops spend more time with each other than they spend with their families, and they are aware of who isn’t fit to wear the uniform. The hell with the blue line, those bad cops will get the good ones killed. Speak up. I offer examples:

Walter Scott, an unarmed black man,was fatally shot by Michael Slager, a white police officer after he was stopped for a non-functioning break light. Slager was charged with murder after a video surfaced which showed him shooting Scott from behind while he was fleeing, and which contradicted his police report.

Closer to home a recording of Corey Jones’ conversation with roadside assistance cast dramatic light into the confrontation between the stranded motorist and Palm Beach Gardens police officer Nouman Raja at the Interstate 95 PGA Boulevard off ramp. The entire conversation was recorded by roadside assistance. The conversation recorded was taken from the State Attorney’s report below.

Corey Jones: “Huh?”
Officer Nouman Raja: “You good?”
Jones: “I’m good.”
Raja: “Really?”
Jones: “Yeah, I’m good.”
Raja: “Really?”
Jones: “Yeah.”
Raja: “Get your (expletive) hands up! Get your (expletive) hands up!”
Jones: “Hold on!”
Raja: “Get your (expletive) hands up! Drop!”
Within two seconds, three shots ring out.
Ten seconds later, three more shots ring out, one shot per second.
33 seconds after the final shot is fired: Raja calls 911 on his personal cell phone. “Drop that (expletive) gun right now!” Raja screams before the 911 dispatch operator can utter a word.

I invite readers to check out the “Justice Network” which can be found on channel 25.3 (air) and 209 (comcast). Programming runs 24/7 and you will get an education on cold case files, forensics, DNA, absolutely everything involving law enforcement, and they are true cases. After 9:00 PM all about drugs pouring over the borders from Mexico and Canada. The war on drugs, I am convinced we can’t win.

911 Where Is Your Emergency?

911-computer

Here is everything I knew about calling 911.

I had an emergency, made the call, and in a short amount of time a police officer was at my door ready, willing and able to offer assistance. There is so much more to it.

The WPB Police Department recently held a power point presentation explaining the procedure from the moment the call is answered to the moment the officer is standing at your door.
The presentation was made by Ms. Candace Gaines, Training Coordinator who’s responsibility includes training a staff of 26 Dispatchers. Also included in the presentation was Ms. Suzette Dodd, who holds the title “Telecommunications Manager Dispatch Operations” and her Assistant Manager Ms. Natasha Potter who has 30 years experience with the city.

“Where is Your Emergency?” is the first question asked. A caller needs one of three departments: Police, Fire, or Medical Assistance. If Medical Assistance is needed the call is transferred.

This story includes a picture of 5 computer screens all being used while the call is being answered. (To enlarge the picture, click on)

1 Screen on left is for the phone.
2 Top Screen is a city map which shows the location of the call being made.
3&4 Two middle Screens are CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch)
5 Screen on right is the radio.
Note of interest: The city has installed the Harris P 25 radio system and the people who use it told me they liked the system. You may remember a few years ago the city considered going with “Open Sky” system which had many problems. It appears to me the city made the right decision.

The presentation started with an actual call the city received from a man who walked into his home to find his mother had been stabbed.
The son was crying hysterically and I was having difficulty following the conversation. The dispatcher was attempting to keep the man calm while asking pertinent questions.

“Is your mother breathing? (asked that particular question 4-5 times)
“Is anyone else in the home?”
“Is your mother bleeding?”
The man was pleading for help and wanted help immediately, and I know at that particular time I wouldn’t want to answer questions. But the questions I learned were critical. An armed intruder may have still been present, being a danger to the man and the responding police officers.

Now the whole time the dispatcher is asking questions, the 2nd. screen (city map) is showing where the call is originating from and the police have already been dispatched to the area with lights and sirens running. All they need now is the address.
This particular call lasted approximately 6-7 minutes and the dispatcher stayed on the line with the caller until the police arrived. Heartbreaking situation, but what’s important to understand is the questions being asked do not delay response time.

The second call was from a man who called police to report men were breaking into cars, and he was watching them do it. He gave dispatch the street name, and there was a continued conversation between the two. After a few minutes had passed he said he could hear the police sirens approaching. The thieves hearing the sirens tried to run and hide in the bushes but the caller told dispatch where the men were hiding, and she relayed the information to the officers. Next thing we heard was the caller all excited saying “the cops got them, the cops got them” Happy ending for everyone but the thieves.
The man in the second call asked to remain anonymous, and his phone no. was deleted from the system.

The city has bilingual operators, and if one is not working shift, a translator service is used to interpret between the dispatcher and resident needing assistance.
200 hours of training are needed for phone operators and 500 hours for radio dispatch, and all operators are certified by the state and must pass a state exam.

From Jan. 2016 until Nov.2016:
911 calls 126,872 incoming calls were received.
Non emergency 137,063 incoming calls were received.

We were told people called 911 asking if Sun Fest was canceled because of the rain, where was the boat show being held?

There is a non-emergency number for the police department and it is 822-1900. If you come home to find your child’s bike has been stolen 822-1900 is the number to call. An officer will take a report, and an attempt to locate the bike will be made.

Phone numbers you may find helpful:

Detective (C.I.D.) 822-1700
House Watch 822-1634
Crime Prevention 822-1620
Code Enforcement 822-1465
Records 822-1880

TIPS (Remain Anonymous)
Crimes 822-1701
Narcotics 822-1800

In a perfect world a police cruiser would arrive when the crime was in progress, the officer would witness the crime, arrest the culprit and bring them to justice. It is not a perfect world.
We are the eyes and ears of the police department and our help is needed. The man who witnessed men breaking into cars made the decision to get involved saved his neighbors the cost of replacing car windows, time off from work to have the work done, and most important peace of mind. If you see something and won’t get involved, don’t complain about crime.

NOTE: I just received an invitation to attend “Coffee With A Cop” and this one appears different and geared toward children. Here are the specifics.

When: Saturday Jan. 14, 2017 between 10:00 AM –1:00 PM
Where: McDonald’s 1720 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard WPB Fl.

There will be children’s activities including face painting, free Child
Safety ID, Motorcycles and Vehicles, and always popular with
children and adults meet the K9 dogs and their handlers. There will be
free coffee for the adults, and ice cream for the kids. I understand
Ronald McDonald will attend. Bring your camera and take their picture
with Ronald and the K9 dogs.

Coffee With A Cop #2

sdc10995

The West Palm Beach Police Dept. held it’s second “Coffee With A Cop” where questions and concerns from the public are addressed by the police officers who ride our neighbors, are aware of the problems, and are committed to keeping our streets safe.

This affair was a little different from the original because eight students from Forest Hill High School were in attendance. These students are part of the Criminal Justice Academy and all want to be future Police Officers. I spoke with one young lady who told me she wanted to attend the Police Academy after she served in the armed forces. She is faced with the decision between the Army or Navy. Her head is firmly planted on her shoulders and she has a vision of what she wants to do with her future. These are children their parents can be proud of, but let’s not lose sight of the facts these kids are making wise decisions which will effect their lives and future.
Officer Acevedo is with the Forest Hill High School, and works in unison with the WPBPD to mentor these extraordinary young people who have decided to dedicate their career’s to Law Enforcement.

The next WPBPD “Coffee with a Cop” will also be a Family Fun Day. Free coffee for adults and an ice cream cone or apples for the kids. It is scheduled to be held at McDonald on Saturday 1/14/17 from 10-12 pm at 1720 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd. Please stop by and bring the kids, ask questions, find answers, and if you have suggestions share them. They want to hear from you. Help the police, help you.

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