The History of the Royal Palm Beach Police Department Motorcycle Unit
On June 6, 1960 Joseph Klopp was the first Chief of police of the Royal Palm Beach Police Department. The Public Safety Department had one full-time officer that first year and recruited a handful of auxiliary officers as needed to with emergencies and weekend traffic duty.
A radio-equipped Mercury Station Wagon covered the village’s 10 developed streets, there were a total of 129 registered dwellings and about 300 residents.
All through the 1960 the main problem was speeders, even to this day. The officers spent most of their time doing traffic enforcement.
Through the years Royal Palm Beach Police made improvements from forming a Marine Unit 1989, Semi-automatic pistols replacing revolvers in 1990, in 1998 video camera mounted in patrol cars to record road incidents. In 1995 the department became accredited. This made a big difference on the way the department kept records.
In 2003 the Royal Palm Beach Police Department established a Motorcycle Unit with the addition of a 2003 Harley-Davidson Police Road King. Royal Palm Beach had one Motorman. Royal Palm Beach Motor Officer Butch Weller. Officer Weller was the one and only Motor Officer for the department. Officer Weller patrolled on a 2003, 04, and 06, Harley-Davidson Police Road King. Officer Weller is well known in Royal Palm, He spent his time working on the Motor Unit doing Traffic Enforcement, Crash Investigation, and responding to other emergencies.
On Oct. 1, 2006 Royal Palm Beach Police Department merged with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. This was the end of the independent village police department. All the vehicle and personnel became part of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
With that being said, Deputy Butch Weller still patrols his beat on 2018 Harley-Davidson Police Electra Glide of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Information and Photos provided Deputy B. Weller