Protecting The Palm Beaches - Palm Springs Police Chief Ceccarelli

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It seems there is no community in Palm Beach County that is immune to the sober home issue and the heroin epidemic.  They are definitely affecting the Village of Palm Springs, according to Police Chief Tom Ceccarelli.

"We respond to many calls and sometimes we don't even know it's a sober home until we respond there for an overdose and then we'll get there and realize this is a sober home.  It is a pervasive problem.  We have a few houses in Palm Springs...I know most communities have them."

He hopes the new law going into effect this weekend (House Bill 807) will help his agency stay a step ahead of the criminals in the recovery business.  That law will crack down on unscrupulous sober home operators.

Meanwhile, there are a number of scams being pulled off on residents of Ceccarelli's community.  They include the gift card and lottery scams that are also operating in other local cities, along with one that targets people buying items from sites like Craigslist.

"It's common that they'll want to meet in the parking lot of a gas station or different businesses around town.  We had one recently where they were going to sell a cell phone.  They handed the person just a bag of garbage, the person hands them the money, they take off.  We had one probably a month ago where counterfeit bills were used to pay for an item.  Or they'll just take your money and just run off."

He urges residents to meet the seller at the police station to handle the transaction.  This way, he says, if something goes wrong, it will have been caught on video. 

The chief also warns about the dangers of doing your own fireworks this July 4th and suggests you let the professionals handle it. 

Photo: Tetra images RF

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