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Small Florida town’s entire police department quits

Small Florida town’s entire police department quits in the same week, leaving the area without any cops – and officials won’t say why the six officers left their jobs

  • The town of Melbourne, Florida is at a crossroads as the entire six-person police department resigned this week, including the police chief
  •  The town’s law enforcement responsibilities will be covered by the local Sheriff’s Office, who have helped the town for the last six years
  •  Mayor Tabitha Neimann said there was no ‘singular reason’ for the resignations
  •  A former police officer with the department said there were clashes with the town’s government over funding and pay

A small town in Florida’s entire six-member police department has resigned, leaving the area without any officials, as cop departments across the country face funding cuts and resignations. 

The police department and police chief in Melbourne Village, Florida, sensationally handed in their resignation notices this week amid clashes with the town government. 

Most of the resignations will take effect Friday, forcing the town’s volunteer-only commission to decide whether to rebuild the department or contract the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement coverage. 

The commission is considering a proposed agreement with the Sherriff’s Office to have them patrol the town and handle emergency calls, along with other law enforcement duties. 

But officials have refused to say why all six cops resigned within the same week. 

Melbourne Village Mayor Tabitha Neimann said the town has had coverage from the Sheriff’s Office for ‘the last six years,’ and also said there is ‘no singular reason’ for the resignations. 

The Melbourne Village Police station is shown here after all six officers resigned from their positions 

Melbourne Village Chief of Police Gary Loos also retired from the force on Friday, leaving the department after less than three years

Melbourne Village Chief of Police Gary Loos also retired from the force on Friday, leaving the department after less than three years

Loos' resignation can be seen here as he writes to Mayor Tabitha Neimann that he is retiring from his position 'due to health concerns'

Loos’ resignation can be seen here as he writes to Mayor Tabitha Neimann that he is retiring from his position ‘due to health concerns’

She also said ‘regardless of the ultimate direction chosen by the town commission and citizens of Melbourne Village, rest assured that the town’s residents and businesses will continue to receive comprehensive law enforcement.’ 

Gary Loos, the town’s now-former Police Chief, had been in law enforcement for over four decades and was appointed to the position in 2019.

While Loos could not be reached for comment on the resignations, a former officer with the force indicated the department had been at odds with the town government for a while. 

Angelo Caravano, who joined the force in 2019 but quit last month, said the contention stemmed from disputes over pay and day-to-day operations. 

‘Some of the officers wanted pay raises, so they were fighting about that,’ Caravano told FloridaToday

The town allotted a budget of $405,000 to the police department for the upcoming year.  

‘The reality of it is, is that this is a small town and they really can’t afford to pay anything comparable to what the bigger cities are offering,’ Caravano continued. 

Melbourne Village is located along the east coast of Florida, about an hour away from Orlando. 

Caravano said the town is generally safe and there’s ‘not a lot going on’ in the leafy green community.

‘You don’t see any burglaries,’ the former detective said. ‘Basically, you have a few death investigations, traffic accidents and a few thefts at the Target store.’

Town officials, including Mayor Neimann, have declined to give any reason on the resignations or elaborate on them further. 

Sergeant Michael Veina was also one of the officers who sensationally quit in the small Florida town

Sergeant Michael Veina was also one of the officers who sensationally quit in the small Florida town

Officer Frank Sarivola handed in his resignation

Officer Blake Lanza also resigned

Melbourne Village Mayor Tabitha Neimann said the town has had coverage from the Sheriff’s Office for ‘the last six years,’ and also said there is ‘no singular reason’ for the resignations

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