Most people who live in South Florida or who have visited often think of Riviera Beach as the urban area that leads to Singer Island and one of Palm Beach County’s worst kept cities. The architecture is old, run down, the streets have been littered with trash and graffiti for years and the city itself has been dealing with a higher crime rate than most other Florida cities since the 1960’s.
It’s difficult to believe that the history of Riviera Beach involved one of the most well-known celebrities in the USA. Most Floridian’s are quite familiar with the fact that Burt Reynolds grew up here in South Florida, but do not realize Riviera Beach was a significant part of his childhood.
It was in 1946 when Burton Milo Reynolds Senior (Burt’s father) relocated his family to what was then known as the Town of Riviera. That same town was renamed the City of Riviera Beach in 1959. Nonetheless, Burton Reynolds Sr became the Chief of Police of Riviera Beach just a few years after he and his family moved to South Florida.
The Town of Riviera was initially incorporated in 1922 and for twenty years was scarcely populated with less than a few thousand people requiring nothing more than a Town Marshal to enforce the law within its boundaries. However, during World War II, the town’s population had doubled. By 1959, there were more than 13,000 residents living in what was now known as Riviera Beach and crime had escalated requiring more authority than a simple town marshal. Very quickly after the town’s name was changed, a new city police headquarters followed.
By the 1960’s, the use of narcotics became more frequent in America and also became a large portion of the Riviera Beach crime statistics. By the 1980’s, crack cocaine was on the main stage requiring the efforts of Riviera Beach Police and city residents to work together in an effort to tackle the area’s intense drug problems. Unfortunately, more than thirty years later, the crime in Riviera Beach has continued to remain in the lead within the county. According to Neighborhoodscouts.com, Riviera Beach was named the 30th most dangerous city in the United States with our very own Lake Worth following at number 31.
History tends to repeat itself making it difficult for young people who are forced to live in economically depressed areas to break free of the same chains that encouraged the downfall of their parents, grandparents, etc. In modern day, the drug problem in America has only worsened with the widespread and intense burden of the opioid epidemic. Riviera Beach now offers a Youth Empowerment Center encourage the children between the ages of 11 and 19 in their community to work towards a better life.
The Riviera Beach Community Redevelopment Agency is taking great measures to improve their community with several programs to help reduce the crime rate, including a Business Watch program and a Neighborhood Watch program.
The efforts being made by the people in Riviera Beach are making great strides in improving the area and all are appreciated by the residents within Palm Beach County. Nonetheless, some crimes will still happen. If someone you love has been arrested in Riviera Beach and needs to post bail, call or text Bail Bonds Now at (561)-500-9999 as soon as possible after the arrest. If you contact our bail agent quickly, your friend or loved one should be available for release from jail within two to eight hours after the paperwork has been processed and payment has been received.
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