Montverde doesn’t have a police department and doesn’t need one

The town of Montverde is so small that it doesn’t have a police department. It also doesn’t have much crime. But still, some issues pop up — namely speeding and the occasional burglary.

So how does Montverde protect itself? By policing itself, newly-appointed Montverde Councilmember Carol Womack said.

“We are a small town, we know each other, our neighbors are our friends and we pretty much realize if someone sees something that they question that they don’t understand they say ‘Hey can you take a look at this or check on this property?’,” Womack said.

[EXCLUSIVE: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s FREE) | PINIT! Share your photos]

Montverde has an agreement with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to assist when needed but otherwise Montverde residents handle their own issues.

Resident volunteers have formed a Public Safety Committee, a small group that gets together and talks through problems and solutions. Public safety volunteers drive around town in a public safety vehicle, like Councilmember Womack.

“I try to go once or twice a week,” Womack said. “And it’s really about visibility and crime prevention. We watch out for each other.”

As you might expect in a town that is only four square miles with no banks or big business and generally one main road through town, speeding is the biggest problem.

Occasionally Lake County deputies are hired to do speed enforcement but the town on its own has cut speeding by 50% by making the main road more narrow, adding speed limit signs, and installing digital speed-indicating signs. All public areas are now covered by surveillance cameras that town staff can view if there’s an incident.

Town Manager Paul Larino said the newly completed surveillance network has come in handy.

“We have had the Lake County Sheriff’s Office view them,” Larino said. “We had a few crimes in town, we had a burglary once.”

Womack and Larino said self-policing is getting results.

“We have very few incidents where we actually have to contact law enforcement,” Womack said.

As for fire and medical services, Montverde had a volunteer fire department but recently worked out a deal with Lake County where residents pay an assessment tax and Lake County has agreed to build its new south county fire station in Montverde.

Currently, Lake County Fire and EMS operates out of the building behind town hall, providing fire, basic, and advanced life support services to every Montverde resident around the clock.

 Read More

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *