By ANDREA VanVALKENBURG, Press-Republican
---- — TUPPER LAKE — A veteran Tupper Lake Village Police officer will be the department’s new chief.
After 34 years of service, Police Chief Thomas Fee will retire at the end of the month. He was honored Tuesday evening at a Village Board meeting, where he was presented with a plaque recognizing his decades of service.
As Fee now looks forward to spending more time with family, Sgt. Eric Proulx has been promoted to the department’s top position.
Proulx, 41, has been on the force for 19 years and was formally appointed to the job at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Proulx told the Press-Republican. “It’ll be a challenge, but it’ll be fun.”
Proulx, a longtime shift supervisor, said it will be an interesting transition from patrol duties to more of an administrative role, but he looks forward to the change.
Village Mayor Paul Maroun said Proulx’s experience with the department earned him the top job.
Proulx was one of two in-house candidates who vied for the position.
Village Police Sgt. Sean Stradley and Proulx have worked closely together through the years as the department’s two sergeants, and Maroun said both were “very good and qualified” candidates.
Ultimately, the board opted to award Proulx the position, noting his
experience in grant writing and past collaboration with other law-enforcement agencies.
Maroun also applauded Stradley’s dedication to the department, where he has served since 2001.
The top job can be difficult, Maroun said, in terms of balancing administrative and budgetary responsibilities while still prioritizing public safety, but he was confident that Proulx will be an asset in the position.
“He has some great ideas on what we can do to keep it working for everyone,” Maroun said.
“It’s a tough job ... but I think Eric will do an excellent job.”
Proulx, who will oversee eight other officers while managing the administrative duties, is expected to earn roughly $65,000 a year.
He will take over as chief on Feb. 28.