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Moriah PD’s future questioned

Trustee wonders if police are necessary

Is the Moriah Police Department a good investment? That’s the question Tim Garrison is asking. The town councilman has initiated a discussion on the future of the agency.

Is the Moriah Police Department a good investment? That’s the question Tim Garrison is asking. The town councilman has initiated a discussion on the future of the agency.

— Moriah’s other officer is Art Brassard.

Moriah is one of four municipal police departments in the county. The others are in Ticonderoga, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake.

“We try to be as visible as we can be,” Stahl said. “I don’t know how you measure crimes prevented, but I’m certain our presence means a lot in the community.”

Being a local department with local officers is important, too, Stahl said.

“We grew up here; we know the people here,” he said. “It’s sometimes easier for us to diffuse a situation because we know the people involved. We’re also a valuable resource for state police when they come into town because we know where to go, who to see.”

The Moriah PD also provides traffic control and security at public events, like high school football games, the annual Labor Day celebration, Champ Day and more.

Stahl believes the majority of Moriah residents want to retain the local police department.

“I think the residents of Moriah support the police department,” he said. “Nobody wants to see the police until they need them; then they want them there yesterday.”

At one time there were two police departments in the community. Moriah and the village of Port Henry combined their departments in 1990. At that time the new department had five full-time and one part-time patrolmen. Because of budget limitations the Moriah PD now has two full-time officers.

Garrison believes the money saved by eliminating the police department could be used in better ways. He suggested using half the money to improve town roads and half to hire a town manager.

“We have spent the last 30 years holding the line in this town and we have not done much looking at or planning for the future or economic growth,” he said. “Something needs to change. What we’re doing now isn’t working.”

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