A small town’s police force is going dark after every officer quit, the Florida town announced.
Melbourne Village’s six police officers submitted their resignations Aug. 15, most of them effective Aug. 19, according to a news release from the town. The reason for the resignations was not disclosed. .
Now, Melbourne Village — with a population of 822 — will have to decide whether to rebuild the police department or extend a contract with the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, which will step in to take care of police services in light of the resignations, officials said.
“Regardless of the ultimate direction chosen by the town … rest assured that the town’s residents and businesses will continue to receive comprehensive law enforcement and police protection services at all times,” the release said.
“There will be no lapse in coverage, as the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office will immediately provide professional law enforcement services and police protection services within the town’s municipal boundaries,” the town said in the release. “In fact, for several years BCSO has been covering many shifts entirely.”
The Town of Melbourne Village, which is about 70 miles southeast of Orlando, is not the first to have its police department wiped out by widespread resignations.
In July the majority of the Kenly, North Carolina, Town Police Department resigned over a conflict with newly-hired town manager Justine Jones, citing the department was “understaffed and stressed,” the News Observer reported. Johnston County Sheriff’s Office stepped in to serve the community after most of the officers quit.
In the same month in Colorado, the chief of the Springfield Police Department resigned, along with every officer, citing work opportunities elsewhere and “personal reasons,” KKTV reported.
And less than a year ago, a police department in Missouri crumbled after the Kimberling police chief and his officers quit without “immediate authority,” The Hill reported in September 2021. The Kimberling mayor called the resignations “unexpected,” and said the short notice was “disappointing.”
According to the Police Executive Research Forum, resignations spiked 18% in police forces between 2020-2021. Police forces also found themselves hiring fewer people on average than the prior year.