The Lake Placid Village Board approved the appointment of new police office Heather LaHart at its March 19 meeting.
A 25-year-old from Poland, NY, LaHart is an EMT, a member of the Lake Placid Fire Department, and the first woman hired by the force in over 20 years.
“She’s a graduate of Utica College. She has a degree in Biology with a concentration in the Criminal Justice aspects of it,” commented Village Mayor Craig Randall, speaking after the meeting.
“I think she was looking toward some of the forensic sciences as they relate to law enforcement. She also did an internship with the Oneida County Police Department. Heather comes with excellent credentials, and was in the top three of the individuals who took the civil service exam,” he added.
LaHart is set to attend Police Academy in Plattsburgh for four months.
Randall noted that the village’s police department employed 14 people last year, but since then has seen four retirements and one resignation. The force now has nine full-time and two part-time employees, with two more full-timers set to come on board in the next several months.
Police Chief Bill Moore said three officers are currently eligible to retire.
“A year ago we were approaching this very cautiously from a budget standpoint,” Randall said. “There had been a lot of criticism in the community: ‘This force is too big.’ So the opportunity was to rebuild the department so that it meets the needs of the community and doesn’t appear to be excessively staffed.
“In the last three months we’ve appointed two new officers, both of whom are local, know the area and are beginning to fill in the rookie level on the force,” the mayor said.
The Village Board also approved the hiring of Wes Stanton as a part-time summer parks employee and authorized the use of Mirror Lake by the national Canoe / Kayak Team. The Junior National Team will train on the lake from June 24 to July 9 and again in late September.
The Village Board will meet again on April 2, at 5:30 p.m. at the Town Hall.