[ PRINT ]

Police Restart Neighborhood Meetings.


It started with former Mayor Lois Frankel, and former Mayor Jeri Muoio kept the program going for 8 years. They divided the City into 3 separate areas, the Northend, Southend and the Western Communities. The meetings were posted on the City’s website, and automatically sent to residents along with Cancellations.

The Northend meetings were held monthly, Southend held by-monthly and the Western Communities quarterly. All meetings were held at City Hall in the Flagler Room, and was attended by the Mayor, City Administrator, Police Chief, City Commissioner of their district, and heads of other departments.

The purpose of the meetings was to hear the concerns of residents living in their particular area. I attended many of the Northend meetings and was joined by other residents concerned with the crime rate, who spoke up and asked questions which was answered by city staff. In other words the City was listening and paying attention, and it was comforting to the Northend citizens who took the time to attend and many of the same faces appeared at the monthly meetings.

Mayor Keith James was elected and the meetings continued for a few months and then abruptly ended when at the last Northend Neighborhood meeting James stated he couldn’t see the value of these monthly meetings, and would replace meetings with a new program.

Below was taken from the City website, and I encourage readers to read Ms. David’s responsibilities and what was expected of her.

“On June 21, 2019 James announced that Tiffany L. David, AICP joined the City of West Palm Beach as Director of the “Mayor’s Neighborhoods First Initiative and Advisory Group.”

No mention is made about her working on the James campaign.

https://www.wpb.org/our-city/mayor-s-office/mayor-s-neighborhoods-first-initiative

Did the new program established to replace the Northend Monthly meetings do a better job of bringing residents and the City together? You decide! Below are excerpts from a WPB Watch story posted in Nov. 2019, 5 months after Ms. David was appointed to her new position. Entire story can be read below.

“The Northwood Shores Neighborhood Association invited Ms. David to visit and see for herself the problems they are having and also the problems that will happen in the future if the city moves forward with their asinine plans to convert the Broadway Corridor from 4 lanes to two. Ms. David had put them off for months with one excuse after another.

Finally she made an appearance with Assistant Director Armando Fana who according to Mr. Flick, Mr. Fana paid attention to everything that was said, asked the right questions, and was a true professional.

Ms. David on the other hand appeared not to be able to focus, and spent too much time on her phone. Not respectful. I would take it as what you have to say isn’t important enough for me to listen or pay attention.

The North End Coalition of Neighborhoods (NCON) held a meeting last Saturday and the city invitees included James, Deputy Chief Morris, Jose Tagle and Tiffany David.
I spoke with Carl Flick for an update and he said all the speakers did an excellent job and James was outstanding telling the neighborhood the city’s plans for North Flagler and other North End needs. James was pressed for time and introduced Ms. David and told a crowd of 80 people she would introduce herself and answer questions they may have.

Well 15 minutes after James left, so did Ms. David. Mr. Flick immediately texted her and asked her not to leave, she was the next speaker. She didn’t respond.”

http://wpbwatch.com/2019/11/are-city-commissioners-expecting-to-much/

Now I’m receiving invitations to attend meetings held by the police. Below is the schedule for the Southend, Commissioner Lambert’s district, who sent out the notice to a few residents.

“The City of West Palm Beach Chief of Police and Police Department are organizing bi-monthly meetings in each city district.

Residents and business owners are encouraged to attend to voice their concerns and hear directly from our Chief and our local officers. At the meeting, we will be reviewing actionable steps and solutions to address safety concerns in our neighborhoods and businesses south of Okeechobee Blvd. At each meeting, we will receive an update on concerns raised at previous meetings in order to track progress.

The meetings will occur at 6PM on the 3rd Wednesday of every other month beginning January 19, 2022. On January 19, the meeting will take place at the South Florida Science Center STEM building at 4801 Dreher Trail North.

Please see below the list of upcoming meetings and mark your calendar.

MEETING DATES: January 19, 2022, March 16, 2022, May 18, 2022,July 20, 2022, September 21, 2022, November 16, 2022

*Dates may be subject to change due to holidays and other events.”

The notice above was received by a resident who forwarded it to another friend, who in turn emailed Commissioner Fox who responded with an answer below.

“As to your question, the West Palm Beach Police Department will be hosting the Downtown Police Chief’s meetings in their community room at 600 Banyan Blvd on the 3rd Wednesday every other month at 6 pm. The dates for 2022 are below. There’s not really an email list but I will try to remind people when we get closer to the next one in February. Let me know if you have any additional questions.
Best, Christy
2/16/22,  4/20/22,  6/15/22,  8/17/22,  10/19/22,  12/21/22

Christy Fox WPB City Commissioner, District 3

The Palm Beach Post has tracked homicides in Palm Beach County in an online database since 2009. Its findings for 2021 include:

West Palm Beach had 22 homicides, the most of any municipality. Read the story below.

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/story/news/crime/2022/01/10/homicides-palm-beach-county-total-109-during-2021-most-since-2015/9105495002/?utm_source=palmbeachpost-Afternoon%20Update&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=baseline&utm_term=hero&utm_content=FLORIDA-PALMBEACHPOST-NLETTER19

My Opinion

Commissioners Fox & Lambert you should not be responsible for reminding people of the upcoming meetings. They should be posted on the City’s website as previously done, and that makes it the responsibility of residents who wish to attend.

“Dates may be subject to change due to holidays and other events.” Cancelled meetings should be sent out by the city. If a resident drives to a meeting, only to find it’s been cancelled do you think they will return? Trust now has to be re-built between Police and Residents.

If you want this to be successful help the police make it so.

Meetings should be held at City Hall where parking wont be a problem.

The Northend, where most of the crime is committed, should be held monthly as residents are concerned frightened to death with 22 homicides in 2021.

The meeting dates listed above are not posted on the City website, so who’s to know there is such meetings, let alone attend.

The end.