Millville being smart with police coverage

The Town of Millville has seen a lot of change over recent years. That change does not only involve a significant shopping center on Route 26, more retail and new houses being constructed. No, the actual operations of the Town have undergone a major facelift, as well, as ordinances have been drafted and approved, and a beautiful building now houses all the Town’s operations.

Perhaps the most significant aspect of what Town officials are bringing to the table is foresight. They know Millville is a growing town, and they are trying to make all their decisions based on how they see Millville growing in the future. Take this business with the Town’s garage, for example.

Because of the road-widening project on Route 26, officials realize their current one-car garage will be a near-safety hazard when the work is done. They are already planning a new garage to replace that one, but they are looking at exactly what needs they should satisfy before they go forward.

Without a police department of their own, Millville has worked out contracts with the Delaware State Police to have extra coverage of the Town’s streets. They also, obviously, receive support from nearby departments in case of emergency, but officials worry they do not have enough of a police presence in the town, especially with the population growing and a rising drug problem throughout our area.

Their plan now is to explore building a four-bay garage, with office space on the second floor, that would allow state police to have access to at least one bay, and have space above to work out of. By making it a full-service location for police, the Town hopes that they can procure more coverage from the state troopers. Town officials are also watching the progress of House Bill 81, which would require collective bargaining for police and firefighters whose employers have at least three fulltime employees.

“That can crush municipal budgets, which are already under a lot of strain,” explained Town Manager Debbie Botchie. “Police departments cost a lot of money. Are they needed? Yes.”

And if Millville officials can indeed expand police coverage without breaking the bank on creating their own department, kudos.