Maitland residents will be happy to learn that our police department has recently reinstated an Emergency Response Team (ERT) after a four-year absence. The program has been jump-started using money from the department’s Federal Forfeiture Fund. That fund contains money that has been seized by our officers assigned to federal task forces, from drug dealers and people involved in money laundering schemes. These funds are not from our taxpayers but from people who chose to violate the law.
The Maitland Police Department ERT is comprised of members of the department who must pass a rigorous process of interviews and training before becoming a member of the team. They are skilled and highly trained in tactical response techniques and are experts in marksmanship with a variety of weapons including both handguns and rifles. Their advanced training involves rappelling and special deployment techniques as well as how to provide rescue assistance in the event of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or other severe storms. They carry their equipment with them so they are ready to respond directly to a situation without the need to travel to the police station. This allows their response time to be very fast to any location in the city.
You may ask, why does Maitland, a city that enjoys a very low crime rate, need an ERT? Unfortunately, no community is immune from random acts of criminality or the impact of a natural disaster. Our state has the unfortunate distinction of leading the nation in the number of police officers killed so far in 2011. Traditionally, the South has been a very dangerous area for law enforcement officers. We are also frequently in the path of severe weather that may threaten our city.
Last week, our Maitland Police Department Emergency Response Team participated in the 29th International SWAT Round-Up that was being held at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Range. Not only did our home team compete but our police department has been co-sponsoring this event, the largest and most recognized SWAT competition in the world, for the past 29 years. Teams from across the United States and 12 foreign countries, including teams from Bosnia, Sweden, Hungary, Germany, Kuwait and Russia, competed and attended training classes. Our participation in this prestigious event provides our officers with the latest up-to-date training, combined with real world, challenging tactical competition. The Maitland Police Department Emergency Response Team is an example of how our city is able to continue to offer services to our residents using unique alternative funding methods without impacting our citizen’s taxes.
—Deputy Chief Bill McEachnie, Maitland Police Department
Council Meeting of Nov. 14
The Maitland City Council met on Monday, Nov. 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers. Below is a synopsis of that meeting.
Adopted an ordinance amending the Future Land Use Element of the 2030 CDP. The amendment adds a Policy and Standards to the Future Land Use Element to allow a mix of residential scale retail and personal service uses within the high-density residential land use district where the district is contiguous to a rail line and adjacent to downtown Maitland.
The Consent Agenda was approved as presented.
• Amended Section B of the Rules of Procedures - Regular Meeting Procedures to allow the time limit for each speaker to be 5 minutes.
• Authorized the city manager to provide option and cost information to Metroplan Orlando for inclusion in a comprehensive regional report concerning Quiet Zones associated with SunRail.
• Authorized the mayor to sign two Subordination of City Utility Interests and Resolutions to convey easement rights to the FDOT in conjunction with Interstate 4 reconstruction.
The next regular scheduled Council meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 28. For updates, visit www.itsmymaitland.com