Fort Lauderdale Police Erect Surveillance Tower in Homeless-Friendly Park. What's Next?

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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The only thing sinister is that the taxpaying public cannot enjoy the park because they have been stripped of that privelege by the lack of vagrancy laws.


BSO has one of those. Maybe they can stare at each other accompanied by an endless musical loop of Alan Parson's Project , "Eye in the Sky".

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

If you're correct about the frequency of your sightings, I would say that you are singularly cursed (or blessed, depending on what you're into).


LOL awesome. i can say from personal experience there's much more for the police to be observing in all those others places, unless they just hours and hours of homeless people having boring conversations.


I agree with Broward lover on this. I see nothing sinister about the police living up to their motto "to protect and serve" for the business owners and the citizens who visit that area and patronize the businesses downtown.

Weak attempt of humor on bloggers part.


They usually have a tower deployed in the parking lot of the Publix on Cordoba Road.


as usual, the biggest complaint is that the homeless people pee on stuff. (because there's no public restrooms & the businesses won't share.) this is not a justification for having these people followed, harassed, and now spied on by a giant tower. maybe if you could put yourself in that situation you'd see the need for humor. there's nothing to be protected from and no one is being served.

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