Billy Riggs

Obituary of Billy R. Riggs

Billy R. Riggs of Hilton Head Island SC went to his heavenly home on April 22, 2024, after living 80 incredible years. He lived a long, full, and productive life.


Billy was born on October 22, 1943, in High Point NC to his parents, Clyde and Marie Riggs. Billy received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Barry University and a Master of Science Degree in Management from St. Thomas University. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute.


Billy had 36 years of full-time public safety experience that began in Miami, FL in 1964.  While in Miami, he served in many capacities from patrol officer, canine officer, sergeant, lieutenant, major, and colonel. He retired from the City of Miami Police Department with the rank of Assistant Police Chief in 1987.


In 1987, Billy was selected to be the Police Chief of West Palm Beach, FL, a position he held for ten years. During his tenure as Police Chief, his agency was accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement and received the Webber Seavey Award by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for Quality programming by law enforcement agencies. He served as president of the Police Chiefs Association.


In 1997 Billy was appointed as Director of Administration for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.


After retiring in 2001 Billy, along with his wife Sharon, moved to Springdale Country Club in the mountains of North Carolina.  Although retired Billy was still actively involved in law enforcement by working as a consultant for various agencies in the United States and abroad.  He assessed the capabilities of the Haitian National Police for the U.S. Department of State, was retained by the U.S. Department of Justice as an expert, and evaluated the Chicago Police Department's disciplinary process. He traveled to South Africa and Bermuda to conduct security assessments for the private sector.  Billy served on the Monitoring Teams for the Detroit PD, Niagara Falls PD, and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.  For two years he was retained by the Puerto Rico National Police to assist them with compliance issues.


Outside of his work career, Billy enjoyed over 40 years of officiating high school football and basketball games. He was chosen by the state, both in Florida and North Carolina, on several occasions to officiate the final game of the season in both sports.


Billy loved to golf, but he especially liked being out on the course with his friends. Over the years, he played tennis, went white water rafting, enjoyed hiking, and engaged in many other activities. He always enjoyed his Thursday night pool and bourbon time with the guys.


Billy was an active member of Island Lutheran Church where he served the Lord as a Shepherd. He loved shepherding the members he was assigned and others as well


He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Sharon, his son Michael (Darline) of Greenville SC, his daughter Deana also of Greenville SC, six grandchildren, and his brother David (Wendy) of Canton, NC.  He is preceded in death by his sister Kay Coffey.


A funeral service will be held at Island Lutheran Church on Hilton Head Island at 11 am on May 4th. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.


Memorial Service

11:00 am
Saturday, May 4, 2024
Island Lutheran Church
4400 Main Street
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, United States
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