City playing “Baby Shark” to drive out homeless

Officials in West Palm Beach have a new way to keep homeless people from laying around the city’s Lake Pavilion: “Baby Shark.”

The extremely popular — and extremely repetitive — children’s song can be heard playing on loop all night long around the pavilion, The Palm Beach Post reports. In addition to “Baby Shark,” the city is also playing another children’s hit, “Raining Tacos.”

It won’t be raining tacos for the people who sleep around the pavilion — unless they can withstand this potent musical deterrent. The tactic is reminiscent of the blaring music once used by American interrogators to torment prisoners in the war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

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Local officials are trying to stop homeless people from congregating around the glass-walled waterfront pavilion overlooking the town’s Great Lawn. The venue hosted 164 events over the past year, from weddings to business meetings, bar mitzvahs and birthday parties. The city expects the event space will make $240,000 this year.

West Palm Beach officials are playing “Baby Shark” to drive out the homeless. Pink Fong

Leah Rockwell, the city’s Parks and Recreation director, said event staff and customers shouldn’t have to trip over bodies when they’re setting up an event in the early morning hours. Likewise, a bride shouldn’t have to walk over a sleeping person when she leaves her party at midnight, Rockwell said.

“People are paying a lot of money to use the facility. Thousands of dollars,” Rockwell told The Palm Beach Post. “We want to make sure people paying this money had a facility that was clean and open and continue to use it in the future.” CBS News has reached out to Rockwell for further comment and is awaiting response.

Since the rise in homelessness around the pavilion, the city has resorted to “Baby Shark” and “Raining Tacos.” It seems officials learned from the mistake of another municipality. The City of Lake Worth tried using classical music to drive homeless people away from the town’s Cultural Plaza — but they ended up liking the songs.

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