Lake Worth trying to crack down on countywide opioid crisis

Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue paramedics last year tend to Jessica Wilkerson, a missing Lake Worth woman who was the victim of an apparent drug overdose. She was back on the street hours later after being admitted to JFK Medical Center. (Courtesy Nick Petrino)

LAKE WORTH — Commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting are expected to vote on amending the city’s chronic nuisance property code to include overdosing and code enforcement violations as chronic nuisances.

In the past few years, the city said it has seen a “drastic” increase in the number of calls to service for which the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and Palm Beach Fire Rescue have had to respond due to the opioid crisis.

Sheriff’s Office Captain Todd Baer in April cited a “bad batch” of drugs as the reason for the rise in overdose cases in the city.

As for code violations, the city said when property owners refuse to fix them, that creates a quality of life issue for neighboring residents and the city overall.

The ordinance would amend the city’s Code of Ordinances to add the following: two or more calls for service within a period of 30 days to the same property for police, fire, medic, or other emergency personnel to assist an individual who displays the symptoms of an
overdose of a controlled substance; and failure to comply with a code enforcement order entered by the special magistrate.


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