As the Lovettsville Town Council moves through discussions on a number of budget options presented by Town Manager Lazslo Palko, one idea being considered is to create a town police department.
One plan has that project starting no earlier than 2020, while another option, involving tax increases, could see the service begin this year or early next year. The discussion centers on the question of need. Residents are encouraged to attend the council’s April 21 meeting when the topic will be discussed.
According to Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office statistics, there were 150 crimes last year in all of Sector 250, that includes Lovettsville and a large part of northwestern Loudoun County. The list incidents covers the gamut from property crimes, to robberies and assaults, and even a homicide.
Although some question whether the town is too small to need a police department, the sheriff’s office says Lovettsville is the largest town in Virginia without its own police department. Currently, the whole sector is typically served by only one patrol deputy. In Loudoun, the towns of Leesburg, Purcellville and Middleburg have police departments.
And Lovettsville’s far northern location affects response times. Mayor Bob Zoldos noted it took nine minutes for a deputy to arrive on the scene of a bank robbery last year.
On April 21, the council will explore what it would take financially to create a police department, as well as hear from law enforcement experts in small towns. The council also will look at different levels of service the town could provide, noting the growth the town has experienced over the past few years.