By Jennie McKeon
When it comes to the town of Shalimar, sometimes smaller is better.
The incorporated town of about 740 people was recently named No. 9 in The 10 Safest and Most Peaceful Places to Live in Florida according to the website Only in Your State.
South Palm Beach and Punta Rassa are among the other safest places to live in the state.
Shalimar Town Administrator Tom Burns said he noticed an article about the ranking Wednesday morning and shared it on social media.
“I normally don’t like being in the paper … I think it was cool,” he said with a laugh.
Burns credits the small, but dedicated police department and the staff at town hall that are always willing to listen to residents and help when they can. The town employs seven full-time and two part-time staff members, including the police department.
“Our current mayor, Gary Combs has been mayor since 1997,” Burns said. “His tenure has led to an atmosphere where citizens know they can come in for assistance that bigger governments may not be able to tend to.”
Chief John E. Cash has been with the Shalimar Police Department for 15 years, and has been chief for 12 of those years. Cash said there isn’t a high call volume or crime, but that the department stays busy.
“We walk their dogs for them, take out the trash … residents can directly call on-duty officers for help after hours,” he said.
He refers to Shalimar as a “small Mayberry town,” which is a benefit for the residents. Some of the officers know just about every resident by name, Cash said.