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The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is working with some businesses in downtown Lake Worth to tap into surveillance cameras in an instant. Now, the program is expanding to homeowners to fight crime faster.
The idea for this program came from a detective who spent a lot of time collecting video surveillance in the heart of downtown.
Initially, some business owners jumped on board to install special cameras. Now, with a call for homeowners to sign up, the message this sends to criminals is even stronger: don't come to Lake Worth, we're watching you.
For 20 years, Francisco Patino has called Lake Worth home. "We need to do something to cut down on crime," said Patino.
His car has been ransacked, "If I leave my car door unlocked, I can guarantee the car will be opened and everything will be rifled through," said Patino. "You feel violated."
And his bicycles have been stolen. "My son decided that he did not want to put the chain on one night and that was it the bicycles were gone."
And last month, Patino and neighbors did what they could to cut off access to this derelict home behind Patino's house. "We went ahead and removed the stairway to the back balcony because that is where six heroine addicts were living," he said.
Now, Patino and other homeowners will look into joining a pilot surveillance program the Palm Beach County Sheriff's office is launching. The agency is creating a database of IP addresses that will link directly to cameras at local businesses and homes.
"Anything to bring a little safety and security to Lake Worth would be good," expressed Patino.
Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell says he plans to install cameras with IP capabilities at his home. "It's cutting edge," said Maxwell. "We're just getting everyone to work together in the community."
And if the program is successful, he wants to find a way to make the cameras more affordable for everyone. "If it takes off enough, maybe we should have a conversation at the state level about providing some funds for folks to help them with some of that cost."
Patino sees so much potential in Lake Worth. "More potential than Delray, more potential than everywhere else," said Patino.
He just hopes this pilot program cuts down on crime. "But nevertheless we never get much done here," added Patino.
Joining this program is voluntary. To do so, it's recommended your surveillance cameras have IP capabilities.
For more information about the program contact the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office or email the Neighborhood Association Presidents Council in Lake Worth: firstname.lastname@example.org
PBSO hopes to launch the program as soon as possible.
Scripps Only Content 2016