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Posted on: December 18, 2023

Council meets for workshop on vagrancy

The Fort Walton Beach City Hall Chamber.

The Fort Walton Beach City Council had a workshop on December 12 to discuss updates and develop new ideas to address the City Council’s #1 Priority- Vagrancy.  

Some updates include:

  • The City is currently working with all municipalities in Okaloosa County to develop mirror ordinances to help reduce panhandling and vagrancy on a County-wide level.  
  • The City has recently purchased E-bikes to be utilized in the areas that are susceptible to vagrancy
  • The City is developing CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) strategies to reduce blight and vegetation overgrowth and increase visibility with LED lighting. 
  • The City Council recently (In September) added a new position in the Police Department to specifically be utilized to enhance the community’s Quality of Life.
  • During the December 12th Council Meeting, A motion was made to add a second Quality of Life Police Officer to specifically be utilized to reduce vagrancy in our community.  

The City Council also discussed the funding requests on behalf of One Hopeful Place that have recently been made.  The One Hopeful Place property is leased through the City of FWB and any changes to the property are required to come to the City Council for approval.  

It was approved by City Council at the December 12th Council Meeting, during item 12.4 Vagrancy, that notification be sent to Okaloosa County officials, State Legislature, and One Hopeful Place officials stating that any changes to the property must be approved in advance by the City.  This motion was to made to ensure that any requested changes to the property were approved by the City Council before funding was set aside by State Legislature for the requests.  

The City of FWB also submitted funding requests for:

  • Hollywood Blvd Street Scape Project
  • Underground Utilities- Downtown/Uptown Area
  • Anchors/Hill Street Scape Project

All funding requests were required to be in by the first of November 2023.

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