Lots of people who happen to be homeless eat, sleep, and socialize in the shady comfort of downtown's Stranahan Park. But the city is constantly trying to send them elsewhere
, spurred by the complaints of business owners. A recent move by the Fort Lauderdale Police Department seems downright sinister:
They've deployed a mobile "Skywatch" unit to monitor (or at least intimidate) homeless loiterers. It doesn't appear to be working. After the jump: we've come up with some suggestions for much better places to deploy the surveillance tower.
1. The Elbo Room
After all, it was a concerted law-enforcement crackdown that stripped Fort Liquordale of its legendary spring-break status
. Elbo Room is one of the few remaining bastions of the Where the Boys Are
era, and that means it's host to not just a few troublemakers and permadrunks. A little supervision from Big Brother couldn't hurt.
2. The Broward County Commission Chambers
Who knows what goes on behind closed doors in here after the microphones go off and the reporters file their stories. They could be hatching a plan for world domination, for all we know. As long as BroCo's schemers-in-chief call Fort Lauderdale home, let's spy away.
3. Fort Lauderdale Beach
So, it's not clear whether much crime happens on the beach. Probably not. But hey, policemen like to look at hot babes, don't they? Plus, people would confuse them with lifeguards, which would allow them to get more exercise.
4. Pill Mills
We're not sure if there are still more of these than McDonald's
(McDonaldses?) in Broward County, but there are still a few in our neck of the woods. Some of these parking lots have seen some pretty intense fights between drug-hoarding Kentuckians as well as a general air of under-the-radarness. Drop off one of the spy towers and poof! Your problems will be gone.
|Artist's rendering of New Times office. Not to scale.|
5. The New Times Office
While the cops probably won't want to come inside (they'd be disappointed by our coffee), they can make sure that nobody ever hurts us with a suitcase bomb
or that none of our fan mail has been tainted with anthrax. They can also help us with things like records requests and securing interviews with Chief Frank Adderley. Protect and serve!
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