The City of Roman Forest and Emergency Services District #7 now have a unique arrangement through an interlocal agreement whereby the East Montgomery County Fire Department “Fire Prevention Officer”, Captain Lonnie Cantwell will also serve as a commissioned peace officer with the Roman Forest Police Department.
EMC Fire Chief Jeff Taylor said Cantwell does “everything from working with the public and dealing with complaints, to handling the department’s fire prevention program, including the high school fire academy program, CPR training, and anything related to public education.” With ESD #7 now covering 144 square miles, not to mention all of the new development and construction, fire prevention and code enforcement are very important, he said.
The cities of Roman Forest and Woodbranch signed interlocal agreements stating ESD #7 will provide their code enforcement, which will be part of Capt. Cantwell’s job, along with providing the same service to the unincorporated areas of ESD #7.
Capt. Cantwell became a fulltime firefighter with the New Caney Fire Department in 2009 after years of volunteering. Jeff Taylor has been Cantwell’s chief for many years, but now he has a second chief. Roman Forest Police Chief Stephen Carlisle pinned Cantwell’s badge on him when Cantwell officially became a police officer October 17, wearing an RFPD uniform. Chief Carlisle said he believed the creation of Cantwell’s position is a step in the right direction that will benefit all involved.
“I am very proud to have Captain Lonnie Cantwell on our team,” he said. “Being the first of his kind, fire and police working toward a common goal; this is a great step creating an even stronger relationship with our fire department and East Montgomery County as a whole.”
Editor’s note: Just to clarify, ESD #7 is NOT funding a patrol officer. Capt. Cantwell will work for ESD #7 on their payroll, but is also now a commissioned peace officer.