The Village of Lake Placid was established in 1900 and sits within the Town of North Elba in Essex County, New York.
The Lake Placid Police Department was established in 1901 and the first police officer hired was William Younger. The police department was located at 301 Main St. (new address - 2693 Suite 104) and still is to this day.
By 1905 the Lake Placid Police Department had grown to 3 officers - Fred Bryant, Bob Wilson and Edwin Bruce (pictured below) and business was conducted on an "On Call" basis as compared to today and their salary was $40.00 a month.
A book by Bernie Connors called "Tail Spin" was recently written and put on the shelves relating the events of 1954. Below is a synopsis of events from that time period.
On August 5th, 1954 at approximately 12:30am Lake Placid Police Officers Dominick Valenze, Bernard Fell, Richard Pelkey and John Fagan responded to a suspicious activity call at Dr. Perkins camp on West Valley Rd. There had been several burglaries in the past week including a $100,000.00 jewel theft at the renowned Lake Placid Club. The officers entered the camp and confronted James Call in the basement where Call was hiding in a shower stall. Call displayed a gun and a gun battle ensued.
During the fire fight 14 bullets were fired, 7 by James Call and 5 of which hit their targets injuring all 3 officers and fatally wounding Richard Pelkey who died several days later. A statewide manhunt ensued for James Call. Lake Placid Police, New York State Police and countless civilians joined the manhunt, manning roadblocks and scouring the 6 million acre Adirondack Park.
Call stayed on the lam for over three months until November 16th, 1954 when a Reno Daily Newspaper reported that James Call was apprehended by the Reno Police Dept. Call had been apprehended while attempting to sell a $500 watch at a local pawnshop, reportedly stolen during one of Reno's recent estate burglaries. New York State Police had identified James Call through his fingerprints found at the scene of the Perkins Camp.
James Call was convicted for the murder of Officer Richard Pelkey and was sentenced to 20 yrs to life. James call served 13 years 9 months and 12 days and was released on parole. Call later died in a car accident in 1974. Officer Richard Pelkey is listed on the New York State Police Officers Memorial Wall, which is for officers slain in the line of duty. Click here to visit Police Memorial website.
In 1960 to accommodate a growing tourist population "Auxiliary Police" were established. At their height they numbered 22 members and held a status of "Peace Officer". They performed the same duties as police officers and were called in for special events. In 1981 New York State required they be police certified and in 1986 the Auxiliary Police were disbanded because of insurance liability.
At the present time the Lake Placid Police Department has 14 total sworn police members and 3 civilian emplyees.
1 Assistant Chief
1 Part-time patrolman
The department also has 2 full time Parking Enforcement Officers and one full time administrative assistant to the chief of police.
The Lake Placid Police Department is equipped with 5 marked patrol vehicles and 1 unmarked vehicle. Vehicles are equipped with Automated Defibrillators, mobile computers, license plate recognition, shotguns and patrol rifles. The department also has electric powered carts for the Main St. meter enforcement and special events. Pictured below is one of the electric powered car and some of the old cars parked in our parking lot.
The Lake Placid Police Department has policed several events:
* 2 Winter Olympics - 1932 and 1980
* 2000 Winter Goodwill Games
* Bobsled World Championships
* Luge World Cup Events
* World Cup Skeleton Events
* Biathlon World Championships
* World Cup Ski Jumping
* Great Outdoor Games
* Numerous NCAA Hockey Championships
* Multiple concerts
*International Children's Games
* Ironman 140.6 Triathlon
* Ironman 70.3 Triathalon
* CAN/AM Rugby Tournament
* Summit Lacrosse Tournament
* CAN/ AM & Canadian Hockey Enterprises Hockey Tournaments
* I Love NY and Lake Placid Horse Shows
* Empire State Winter Games
* ECAC Division 1 Ice Hockey Championship
* Lake Placid Marathon
* North Elba 1/2 Marathon