But the Malone contingent was recently assigned to an inter-agency law-enforcement team to step up security along the international border with Canada, adding even more responsibility to the already thin force, Smith said.
“We just can’t give the people in the village the kind of experience they’d expect from their Police Department,” Smith said.
At the same time, Village Police Chief Chris Premo said he opposes dissolution, in part, because of the rate of crime Malone sees compared to other local villages.
Malone had 50 burglaries and 207 larceny cases in 2010, compared to 34 burglaries and 119 larcenies in Saranac Lake and 26 burglaries and 80 larcenies in Tupper Lake, according to the crime index reported to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
In 2011, Malone had 46 burglaries and 245 larcenies, Saranac Lake had 28 burglaries and 77 larcenies, and Tupper Lake had 23 burglaries and 80 larcenies, the report states.
LOSS OF OFFICERS
Premo also worries that during the two-year transition between dissolution and the town taking over village operations and possibly creating a police force or district, the experienced staff will leave.
“One other guy and I can retire before then, but there’s no guarantee that for that two years, in limbo, that if these officers see an opportunity to get a job somewhere else, they’re not going to take it,” Premo said.
He said he spoke with the police chief in Seneca Falls, the New York state community that is the most recent one to dissolve.
“He said the officers had to take a $2-an-hour pay cut,” Premo said. “No one here is getting rich, but compare the State Police to the Malone Police Department. We start out at $30,000, and troopers start out at $50,000.
“My fear is if I retire and Sgt. (Jim) Russell retires, if others can get better jobs, they’ll go because aren’t going to take a pay cut. The community is going to suffer.”