Town makes some room for the MillVols

The lack of a police department within Millville may have discouraged some residents in the past, but thanks to a small group of volunteers, the community can rest a little easier. A number of Millville and other area residents – as well as members of Ocean View’s former Citizen Auxiliary Patrol (CAP) unit, who resigned near the end of last year – have come together as the MillVols, a Millville volunteer group, to help make the town a little safer and more welcoming.

“Our organization, made up of volunteers, is doing whatever we can to help the town,” said Steve Micciche, coordinator of the new group, and former Ocean View CAP member. “It’s a little different than the CAP group we had in Ocean View,” he explained. “We’re not run under any law-enforcement agency, and we provide a lot of services, other than patrol.”

The group operates and maintains their own volunteer patrol car and provides the town with a number of tasks, such as secretary work around town hall and low-level security.

“We’re going to be helping at town hall, answering phones and giving our municipality a hand,” said Micciche. “We helped out at last month’s First Annual Pumpkin Festival, which was a great success.”

The MillVols are primarily eight to 12 steady volunteers, with a handful of others helping out when they can.

The future success of the Millvols centers around the training its members receive. By next month, certified Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) trainee Tom Sheeran plans to move forward with CERT training for MillVols’ members, working in conjunction with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA).

Tom Lutz, another former CAP member, will be organizing the MillVols’ Neighborhood Watch program through out the area.

The volunteer group began meeting at the start of the year and is making headway rapidly.

“Millville is a small area,” noted Micciche, “but every area needs a little enforcement. The state police have authority over our town, but we just want our members to be visible to the ones who need us. A lot of people have already told us how happy they are to see us in the neighborhood.”

The dissolution of the CAP unit in Ocean View resulted after the Ocean View Town Council’s adoption of a revised operational manual for the group. Members of the CAP unit complained that the revisions restricted their responsibilities and inhibited their role in the community, and all of them resigned, though a few continue to volunteer at the Ocean View Police Department.

Not operating under the jurisdiction of local law enforcement, Micciche said he believes that the MillVols will be able to effectively operate throughout the town, while assisting other authorities in nearby areas.

“We plan on getting more volunteers,” he said. “It’s been difficult with the small number of volunteers we have so far. We don’t have all the manpower we are pushing for just yet.”

The opportunity to help out in the community gives men and women like Micciche the chance to keep themselves occupied while giving back.

“The group is great for people who have just retired or who are working full- or part-time and just need something to do,” he said. “I’m retired, and working with a volunteer group helps keep me busy. When you put the effort into something like this, you hope it comes back, two-fold, to you, if something should happen.”

In addition to local patrol and town hall clerical work, the MillVols are pushing for a check-in program, which would help ensure safety and well-being of senior citizens and special-needs residents through town.

“If an elderly resident needs to be checked-up on, we can do that,” explained Micciche, “especially ones without family nearby. We’re also trying for a home-security program, as well. If someone’s out of town and they want someone to swing by their home to make sure everything looks fine, we can do that. These are just safety issues, and they’d be a great asset to our community.”

For more information about the MillVols, contact Steve Micciche at (301) 752-5589 or call Millville Town Hall at (302) 539-0449. Applications and other required forms for would-be volunteers are available at the Town Hall, located at 11 Club House Road in Millville.

“The more volunteers we have,” said Micciche, “the better. We want people to give whatever hours they can in a month or a year, and if we can get that, we can cover a lot of ground.”