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Trustee stands by plan to reduce LP police force

The village of Lake Placid plans to reduce its police force by two members as part of a plan to cut down on personnel costs.

Trustee Peter Holderied says the village cannot afford to maintain its current staff. He blames language contained with the village's contract with the police union.

"It's all in the union contracts and the state of New York protecting the civil service unions and making it very difficult to reign in costs," he said.

Scott Monroe is chief of the Lake Placid Police Department. He told village officials during a board meeting last week that he disagreed with a plan to cut two police officer positions.

The village's budget proposal outlined last week would not refill two positions that were left open after a pair of officers left the force in March.

Since then, the police department has been operating with 10 officers instead of a full force of 12 members.

Monroe said during the public hearing that with only 10 officers working, it would be hard for his squad to cover all its duties without getting over-worked and running into overtime.

Holderied told WNBZ that the contractual obligations prevent police officers from working a full 40-hour week. Instead, he said they work an average of about 26 hours a week.

"Contractually that's all they can work, otherwise its overtime," Holderied said. "That's why we need so many police. We need two for every shift and you do the math and all of a sudden we need more employees."

Holderied said the proposed village budget would add outside legal counsel to help with labor negotiations.

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