Riviera Beach community agrees with mayor's plan

Riviera Beach community agrees with mayor's plan

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More cameras, more youth outreach, and curfews. Community members said they're on board with Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters's proposals on stopping gun violence.

"It's crazy, everywhere I look it's guns. The police just left from here," said Demad, a 24-year-old man who didn't want to give his last name.

On two blocks in the city's north side, NewsChannel 5 saw old crime scene tape, bullet holes in cars and an apartment, and a window shattered by gunfire.

"You stand on your porch and you hear gunshots," said Kenny Osborne. "From the front of your house to the back."
Just last night, Osborne said he heard gunshots. The lifelong Riviera Beach citizen said change begins with kids.

"If they respect themselves, they'll respect you," he said.

Masters announced a similar focus Tuesday. He wants to enforce a curfew for minors: 11pm on weekdays and midnight on weekends. He plans to meet weekly with teenagers. And would like to sponsor a Friday night basketball game for young adults.

"I think it starts at home," said Osborne. "We have to talk to our kids and try to listen to them too because they're going through a lot."
Part of Osborne believes the violence is teenagers acting out for help. He believes its up to the community to take action.

Masters's ideas went further than just reaching the youth. He'd like the city to expand using license plate-reading cameras to keep track of who comes and goes. Plus, he's proposing allowing police to stop and search suspicious cars in the city.

"That's a good thing," said Demad. "A bad guy is a bad guy, a good guy is a good guy."

Other community leaders are turning to faith in an effort to end the violence.

The latest shooting was less than four blocks away from Bishop Oscar Lewis's church.

"It's kind of heartbreaking," he said, adding violence affects several cities.

But lewis said with God by his side, he feels safe in his hometown. He opened an arm of Fatih Deliverance Ministries in Riviera Beach six month ago. His plans include service on the street corner to encourage the neighborhood to follow the gospel.

"Everything else will fall in place; the peace, the joy, the harmony," Lewis said.

Some of Masters proposals will need city commission approval before they can go into effect.

Scripps Only Content 2016