West Palm Beach Officials: Crime Crackdown Working

West Palm Beach Officials: Crime Crackdown Working

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - After a recent crime crackdown, police have taken more guns, drugs and gang members off the streets.

After a recent string of deadly violence last month, police increased patrols on the north end of West Palm Beach. The results of the crack down are in, but the community says there is still a lot of work to do.

Walking the neighborhood near his church, Pastor Henry Green talks about a community still hurt by a recent string of violence. "When we're not worshipping on Sundays, people who park here for hours, who walk this neighborhood just for exercise, they want to feel safe when they do it."

Just last month 4 people were killed by gun violence in just one week.

Police reacted with 4 times the number of patrols between Banyan Blvd and 25th Street.

Police say between July 19 and July 31, they seized almost a dozen guns and identified at least 5 gang members involved the gangs connected to the recent violence. They also made 8 firearm arrests and seized more than 260 grams of drugs including heroin cocaine and flakka.

"They are results, but there's a long way to go still," said Green. "We don't want to just put  a bowtie on it and say good job and thanks for trying. We know that there's still a lot more work to do."

Those who live in the community, like Monica McCoy, are noticing the extra police presence and say now its time for the police to work with the residents. "I think we have to work together. We have to communicate. We have to do what we need to do, and then be able to talk to [the police,] be able to tell when something happens," said McCoy.

Many say seeing more patrols is the first of many steps to building back trust between the community and the police.

"I think a lot of people thought that some of the law enforcement forgot about this neighborhood. I feel like this sign and this presence and activity here makes people feel a lot better about what the city is doing for us," said Green.

The city tells WPTV that the increased patrols will continue until further notice.

Friday, city leaders and religious leaders will gather for a community peace walk to stop the violence.

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