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Police department hires new recruit

SARANAC LAKE – The village has hired another police officer to help shore up its police department ranks, but he won’t be available for patrol work until the middle of next year.

The village Board of Trustees voted Monday to hire Travis Farmer of Saranac Lake as a recruit. He’ll officially get the job after he completes the necessary training at the St. Lawrence County Police Academy in Canton, which starts Jan. 5 and runs to the end of May.

He was recommended for the job by Charles Potthast, the police department’s new chief.

Farmer was sitting in the audience with Potthast Monday when the board approved his hiring. Asked by Mayor Clyde Rabideau to talk about his background, Farmer said he was born and raised in Saranac Lake and went to college at the State University of New York at Brockport, where he studied criminal justice and history. After college, Farmer said he returned to the region and applied for a police officer position through Franklin County Civil Service.

Trustee Allie Pelletieri noted that Farmer’s father, Steven Farmer, is a former village police chief.

Rabideau wished Farmer good luck at the police academy.

“It’s going to be a strenuous program but I’m sure you’ll do well,” he said.

Farmer will be paid a base salary of $31,402, per its current contract with the Saranac Lake Police Benevolent Association. The village will also pay $1,500 in training costs, plus transportation and lodging, while he’s attending the academy.

The village police department has lost five full-time members, including former chief Bruce Nason, to retirement or transfer in the last six months. The village has replaced them so far with three full-time hires – Potthast, recruit Farmer and Patrolman Leigh Wenske – and one part-timer, Patrolman Luke Cromp.

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