TUPPER LAKE — A young police officer recently resigned from the Tupper Lake Police Department, and Chief Eric Proulx says he is looking to hire four new officers, with hopes to have them on the roads by spring.
At the Nov. 20 village board meeting, the board formally accepted Officer Connor Hesseltine’s resignation. He was hired by the department in spring 2018 and had been patrolling on his own for around a year.
Hesseltine’s last day was Nov. 14; Proulx said he is moving to the Malone village police department to be closer to his family.
Hesseltine came from Chateaugay and is moving back to that area with a family of his own.
“He was becoming a very good officer,” Proulx said.
“Connor was a great police officer,” Trustee Ron LaScala said at the board meeting. “He served his community with honor and with the highest standards.
“Quite frankly, it sucks to lose him.”
The village pays to send new officers to training school, with the stipulation that the officers have to stay with the department for three years or else pay back the cost of their schooling.
Village Mayor Paul Maroun said the village of Malone will pay Tupper Lake for Hesseltine’s schooling.
A new police contract signed last year extends that stay requirement to five years.
The police department is now down four officers. There are eight members of the department in total, but two are contracted out to the school district as school resource officers.
Sgt. Geoffrey Carmichael and retired chief Tom Fee are being utilized by the Tupper Lake Central School District as school resource officers, law enforcement officers who work from within the district’s two main buildings.
They are paid through the village police department, which is reimbursed by the school district.
Keegan Muldowney, who was hired at the same time as Hesseltine, resigned from the TLPD in May after the completion of an investigation into “accusations of extracurricular activities in a commercial establishment.”
Proulx said he is waiting for the results of the Franklin County civil service exam to come out, but there is no set date for that. He said he knows some young people from Tupper Lake took the test, and he wants to hire locally if he can.
In the meantime, Proulx said he is paying his officers more overtime.
He said he hopes the new five-year requirement deters any candidates who say they will stick around but do not plan to.
Proulx estimates that the results of the civil service exam will come out in December, and officer training school starts in late January, so he hopes to have four new officers on the force by spring.